MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - Moultrie leaders said they are excited to see growth in the downtown area.
Over the past year, several new stores have opened in the downtown square.
There have also been several projects completed, adding enhancements to this area, such as a pocket park.
"The more people we have living downtown, the more businesses we have open up, the more people we have doing business downtown will make our community grow as a whole," said Amy Johnson, Downtown Economic Development Director.
When you take a walk around the Downtown Square in Moultrie you see very few vacant buildings.
Many storefronts are full with longtime businesses, or some just opening up.
"Downtown is the heart of our community. You know if you don't have a healthy heart, then the rest of your areas might not be so healthy," said Johnson.
The downtown area in Moultrie is expected to grow even more over the next 4 years, with projects already in the works.
There are plans to convert a vacant building the downtown development authority owns -- into lofts.
"The millennial age group seems to want to live downtown, and want to see and touch the things they buy, and try on clothes, instead of purchasing everything through the internet," said Johnson.
There are also plans for an iconic area of downtown Moultrie, the old Sportsman Restaurant.
"As it has been closed for many years, the building became dilapidated and the roof is caving in, the Downtown Moultrie tomorrow group recently purchased the property," said Johnson.
There are the renderings for what could in the place of the sportsman building, keeping some of the facades of the building and turning the interior into another pocket park.
The last project that the city is hoping to fund with grant money is adding cameras to the downtown square for the safety of residents and shop owners.
All of this just adds excitement for city leaders, as they see the vision of Downtown Moultrie come to life.
City leaders said they know the internet age has changed shopping, but they are so happy to see hometown brick and mortar stores still opening up here in Moultrie.
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