The future is bright for Downtown Valdosta - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

The future is bright for Downtown Valdosta

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November 19, 2007

Valdosta -  Group of business men and women has helped revitalize downtown Valdosta and nearly every month, a new business opens.

"We've had three new businesses in the past few months and we have two or three more to come," says Zach Hatcher, manager for Hildegard's.

They are buying up each vacant building, transforming them into restaurants, lofts and shops.  "City Market which we are standing in right now is a great example of taking an old building, revitalizing and renovating it to give it new life."

All have one goal in mind for downtown.  "A place where people will come to do their shopping, to live, work and play down here," says Main Street Manager Jan Harris.

They say the work and play part is off to the right start but the living part still needs some work.

And they think they know how to do it.  "The idea of using what has been unused space for so many generations and opening up the upstairs portion of these buildings," Harris says.

Their two newest projects will do just that.  A rundown building on North Ashley Street is slated to house brand new luxury condominiums. Right down the street, another vacant building will soon be home to a boutique hotel, unlike any other in the city.

Both hope to bring more people and more business downtown.  "Its very hopeful, people who have been here, the milestones and the people who are coming in to integrate with new life and new creativity," Hatcher says.

And putting the pulse back into the heart of the city.

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