Thomasville gets downtown living - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thomasville gets downtown living

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March 15, 2006

Thomasville- In its hay day The Mitchell House hotel in Downtown Thomasville could accomodate more than 300 guests. But then the resort era ended, and office space never seemed to work. Now, new life is being breathed into the old building and it's being turned into lofts and condos.

Thomasville business owners know it best.

"Downtown Thomasville is downtown because of people and you've got to have nice places for people," said Randie Wortman, Hicks Clothing Co. That's why they're excited to have new tenants upstairs.

"Our downtown is just so vital and viable to our city and that's one missing piece of our downtown area, is downtown living," said Karen Smith, Main Street Executive Director.

The Main Street Downtown Development Authority now has a developer to build 36 condos and lofts in the old Mitchell House hotel.

"It's really taken off in some of the larger cities and I think it's going to be a huge success in Thomasville as well," said Smith.

When it takes off, hopefully local business will too.

"The downtown area is the heart of your community and this is where people come to for events and I think once we have downtown living that will drive the course that we have more restaurants downtown, that downtown is open at night," said Smith.

The first work residents will see is roof repairs, and business owners say they won't be thrown off by construction.

"Hicks has been here for over 70 years and they haven't gotten here by keeping the doors closed or by a little construction here or there so," said Wortman.

It's a two year project that will be opened in phases, bringing some faces to this old downtown icon. The Mitchell House was built in the late 1800 and served as a hotel during Thomasville Resort Era. It was turned into office space in the mid 70's but most recently had been empty space.

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