Downtown Bainbridge gets recognized for work, revitalization

Published 11:47 am Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs announced Monday that Bainbridge will progress to the Georgia’s Exceptional Main Street program. This pilot program for Georgia’s Main Street network provides advanced technical assistance to communities who have taken strong initiative to developing their downtowns.
“This recognizes we are doing the right things to stimulate downtown development,” City Manager Chris Hobby said.
Fourteen of Georgia’s 96 Main Street communities applied to the 2014 GEMS program. Hobby, Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority Amanda Glover, DDA Chairman Al Collins and Mayor Edward Reynolds travelled to Atlanta in December 2013 to present the ongoing development of downtown Bainbridge to the GDCA.
“We just told them our story,” Hobby said. “As it turns out, it’s a pretty good story.”
Bainbridge, along with Taccoa, Valdosta, Greensboro and Rome, were selected to join the program. These five cities represent 114,778 citizens and five service delivery regions of the state.
Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner of GDCA, said the selection of these cities for the GEMS program provides them with an opportunity to build on their successes by taking a step to the next level of downtown development.
“It’s really recognition of the great work Amanda Glover, Al Collins and all the members of DDA are doing to help develop what’s recognized as the center of our community,” Hobby said. “We couldn’t be prouder of what they accomplished.”
GCDA will work closely with Bainbridge over the next three years to assist with the continuous development of downtown. The program will strive to help Bainbridge meet the community’s needs and become more attractive for private investment and economic growth. They will focus on specific targeted projects to advance Bainbridge’s programs in one of four core areas: organization, economic development, promotions and design.
According to GDCA, this is a proven methodology that empowers communities to use their independent businesses, historic character and other distinctive assets to revive their commercial districts, strengthen local economies and increase civic engagement.
“It’s a huge honor,” Glover said. “We all worked hard and long with the Downtown Development Authority. We’ve been committed to the downtown’s development, and we have some big projects on the horizon.”