Cairo business owners excited about future of downtown after meetings

Updated: Dec. 3, 2020 at 7:13 PM EST
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CAIRO, Ga. (WALB) - Cairo business owners said they’re excited for the future of their downtown.

Thursday marked finishing the second session on the city’s revitalization plan.

City leaders, business owners and community members learned what it’s going to take to revitalize downtown Cairo.

“Being born and raised in Cairo, Ga., I’m just excited to see that there are plans in place for us to have a better place to come home to,” said Maria Vasquez, a Cairo business owner.

Maria Vasquez, Cairo Business Owner
Maria Vasquez, Cairo Business Owner(Source: WALB)

Thursday marked the last of two charrettes, which is when everyone comes together to plan for something like the future of downtown.

Lew Oliver Inc., is a design team out of Atlanta.

They began their journey to help revitalize Cairo on Monday.

The team then took the next few days to put together a presentation.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for everybody to get together, and for us to actually come together knowing what we’re bringing to the table,” said Annette Higdon, another Cairo business owner.

The team talked about what the city already has to offer like plenty of land, and a good foundation.

Annette Higdon, Cairo Business Owner
Annette Higdon, Cairo Business Owner(Source: WALB)

Lew Oliver and his team then went into what their focuses would be.

Some include beautifying sidewalks, current building facades, a community food hall, and development phasing over the years.

“I did enjoy hearing some of the ideas about new food places and that’s definitely something that brings people together. You know, who doesn’t love food?” said Vasquez.

As the pandemic has been hard on everyone, it’s been difficult for business owners in Cairo as well.

They’re hoping this plan will bring more people to “The Hospitality City.”

Renee Theophille, Cairo Business Owner
Renee Theophille, Cairo Business Owner(Source: WALB)

“I like the fact that interest is going to be put into downtown. We lost a lot of businesses, and to get those businesses back down here, it’s just going to be a great opportunity for all of us,” said Renee Theophille, also a Cairo business owner.

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