City on the prowl for new retail

Ken Reynolds is on a one year contract to bring in retail development.
Ken Reynolds is on a one year contract to bring in retail development.

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's day one for Ken Reynolds. "Any time you step out of your comfort zone, that's bound to make you a little nervous," he explained. Reynolds is the community's first Retail Business Coordinator.

Reynolds was interviewed on West Fairview Avenue, a top 5 priority in bringing in businesses. Reynolds is most confident this part of town will look dramatically different within 5 years. Right now the area has seen better days. Uncut weeds and a few boarded-up buildings.

"Things are underway in talking about streetscaping and adding sidewalks and doing other things to beautify the area," said Reynolds.

Ken Reynolds is a contract employee for the city, hired by the Riverfront Foundation at $55,000 a year and his marching orders are pretty simple and direct with a bit of pressure. The mayor is looking to Reynolds to bring in 5 times his salary. In other words, results!

"Everyday we get up and think about retail development," said Reynolds.

A native of middle Tennessee but a long time resident of Montgomery, Ken Reynolds has a law degree, a background in business and banking and just last Friday.

"I was the running the largest wine shop in central and south Alabama," said Reynolds.

Now he's on board. Walking into this new job, he says, was more of a lateral move.

"I don't think I've given up anything because I've been in retail," said Reynolds.

Reynolds' focus won't be just on west and south Montgomery but all of the capital city.

"We're going to do everything we can to do our best," said Reynolds.

We found Ken Reynolds to be thoughtful and not shy about admitting to what could be a 'weakness' in his job; trying to be patient and hurry things up.

"I know things will take time to develop. I'll want to see things progress more rapidly," Reynolds said.

One year from now Reynolds will sit down with the Riverfront Foundation along with the city and see if this new venture worked. Today though he hit the ground running.

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