THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A start date is set for a highly anticipated project in Downtown Thomasville.
City leaders said crews will start work on Phase I of the West Jackson Street Project this summer.
Renderings released last November show big changes for the area that city leaders hope improve business and the quality of life.
So far over the past year nine new businesses in the West Jackson Street area. Five last year, and four this year, two of those being existing businesses relocating their storefronts.
Driving down West Jackson into downtown Thomasville, you notice really no vacancies.
All but one storefront is filled.
This growth can be attributed to the exciting plans for the future of that area.
Big Adventures Outfitters is celebrating their one year anniversary of being in business, deciding to set up shop in one of the main corridors into the city was a no-brainer for them.
"This is really their entryway into the area so you want it to be consistent with broad street and the downtown area," said Kelsey Cooper, Big Adventure Outfitters, Marketing Manager.
Cooper said she hopes the finished project will draw in business to the West Jackson Street area.
"We will be open for business and we are going to plan some fun events in the process of construction so people have plenty of opportunities to still come shop with us," said Cooper.
The construction will take place only in the summer months so it does not hinder shopping and dining during the more busier months in the fall and winter.
"We want to make sure this project is impacting our merchants in the least it could. And so what we have done is phased the project out into two phases. It's still one project," said April Norton, Main Street Director.
Phase one of the project will begin this summer, the plans are to bury utility lines and they will also make small changes to beautify the area like a historical wall and archway with the original historic naming for the area 'The Bottom.'
Phase two will begin next summer and hopefully complete the project. That phase will focus more on sidewalk improvements, landscaping, and pedestrian lighting.
The growth of the area and storefronts filled is what really has these small businesses excited about the future.
"We have really awesome neighbors here that are selling awesome things, so we've been able to partner up and we really consider this our West Jackson Street family. Everyone is so supportive of each other," said Cooper.
Phase I is expected to cost the city around $330,000.
Phase II is expected to cost $1.8 million.
Money to fund the project will partially come from SPLOST dollars.
Bids will be sought in mid-May for installation of underground utilities from Madison Street to Remington Avenue, with work to be done in July and August.
Phase II of the project will be put to bid in early March 2019.