Downtown Dothan's Facelift

By: Deborah Tuff Email
By: Deborah Tuff Email

Members of the Downtown Dothan Redevelopment Committee have been going door to door, asking property owners to do something about their downtown eye sores.

Real Estate Developer Ruth Nelson saw an opportunity and couldn't pass it up.

A prime piece of property sat dormant for years on Main Street in the downtown historic district.

Now however, Nelson is taking action and others like her will soon follow suit.

Ruth Nelson talks with one of the construction workers about what used to be the Personality Shop. Unfortunately, it doesn't have that much personality now.

However, as owner of Real Estate Development LLC, Nelson hopes that will change.

"We're just trying to [rent] right now; make it comply with the code, and make it habitable. We're also trying to make it comply with the code and [make it] look good. From there, it'll be available for rent," says Nelson.

For the last three days, construction workers have gutted the building.

Directly to its right, and that depends on where you're standing, is a courtyard in the works. The facade and courtyard will come as a packaged deal.

However, the revamped construction on the Personality Shop is only part of the city of Dothan’s larger plan.

"This is a combined effort to see our historic district come back to life," says Cathy Cole with The Downtown Group.

"I knew this was a time the city was trying to redevelop and I felt it was a good investment to be a part of that," concludes Nelson.

There is no set-deadline on the projects completion.

Nelson says challenges she and the construction workers face have to do with the buildings age and state of dilapidation.

Owners of downtown Dothan restaurant The Bistro constructed a similar courtyard right next to their building and by just walking by, it seems to be a very popular area.

The owner of the old Seact Theatre building also has plans to re-do that building as well.

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