Mobile Mainstreet workshop reviews downtown progress

Published 3:56 pm Friday, March 6, 2020

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Thursday morning the Downtown Development Authority hosted a mobile Main Street workshop, where guest Main Street directors toured downtown Bainbridge and saw completed and ongoing renovation projects.

“Everybody was very impressed with the number of projects and the activity and forethought that went into making Bainbridge a destination,” said Amanda Glover, Downtown Development Authority Director.

Glover was excited to showcase the developments they have going on in downtown Bainbridge as the State Main Street Association only hosts the mobile workshops once a year and picks the destinations. This year the three-day workshop included Valdosta, Thomasville and Bainbridge.

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Glover said this workshop is a great way to see other people’s communities. Other Main Street directors often hear about what is happening, but would never have the chance to visit and see Bainbridge if it weren’t for the workshop.

The directors were taken on a walking tour and visited the Downtown Station Public Restrooms, Diablo’s Southwest Grill, Eagle Saloon Suites, the Hook & Ladder development site, The Willis Park Hotel project site, the Callahan Building, Southern Philosophy Brewing and the Broad Street Alley.

Glover was instructed to take the group to locations that utilized the RURAL tax incentives such as, Diablo’s and Southern Philosophy, but also showcase projects that utilized low interest loans such as, The Callahan Building and lastly public projects that the city was investing their time in such as Downtown Station and the Hook & Ladder.

“It showed a really good cross section of what public and private sectors are doing here,” Glover said.

Glover said the group was impressed by Heather and Tyler Thomas, who are such a young couple, but have brought so much to the table in terms of promoting not only the community, but themselves as well.

They were also impressed by Doug Young, who they knew had just purchased the Eagle Saloon Suites but was additionally working on the Callahan Building.

“His love of preservation was really insightful to them as well,” Glover said.

Glover explained most of the visitors were from the surrounding Atlanta areas and were floored with the amount of space and quality of the apartments Young had built. She said they all concurred it was a property they would want to live in, given the location, history and preservation.

The public project they were most impressed by was Downtown Station. Most of the directors said public restrooms were something they were needing and wanting and the total cost of the project for new construction was something feasible, however they were just unaware of some of the cost- saving expenses.

Glover was proud of how well the tour went, despite the weather and looks forward to the State Tourism Team visiting later this month, who will get to visit these buildings as well.