Leaders, residents discuss future of West Fairview Avenue

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -  Packed into Fairview Farmer's Market, residents and business owners planned for the road ahead.

City leaders, like Deputy Mayor Jeff Downes, were there to guide them.  In a detailed presentation, Downes laid out a vision for West Fairview Avenue.

It comes with some big changes, thanks to Federal funding.

"You're going to see action," Downes told the crowd.

"It may not be exactly what we have up here, but you're going to see something pretty close."

Affordable housing was a major topic. Lanier Place, a complex which will sit near Fairview, is set to start development in the next 3 to 4 months.

Not too far down the street, the city bought property for a park and plans to revitalize a nearby stream.

Development officials say it's all part of bringing in new business.

"With businesses looking to relocate or expand in Montgomery, I can target businesses to those areas where the people want them," said Ken Reynolds, the city's retail development coordinator.

Business owners are cautiously optimistic.

"The planning needs to be exact.  I don't think it needs to be rushed where it's a rushed job and it's incomplete," said Lisa Pitchford, who owns a restaurant on West Fairview Avenue.

With those projects--and many more--residents hope the area will change for the better and bring the success seen in downtown Montgomery to their backyards.

"A lot of people are interested in living in the midtown area, and West Fairview is something that needs to be developed," said Lauren Dunning, president of the South Hull District Association.

"For the city to come in and revitalize this is marvelous. We're just so excited," said Bonita Loftsgard of Montgomery.

Stay with WSFA 12 News for the latest developments on this story.

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.