Enterprise begins Phase II of downtown revitalization

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

ENTERPRISE, AL (WSFA) - A downtown revitalization is underway in Enterprise.

Crews began work this week, tearing up the old parking spaces and sidewalks, making way for brick paved sidewalks and a more updated walkway.

This grant-funded project also includes improved lighting and hanging plant baskets, a lot like improvements already completed on nearby College Street.

Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell said, "The revitalization that occurred there approximately four and a half years ago, has just done wonders for that street."

While local business owners say, the construction is a positive thing in the long run, some say, in the short run, it's affecting their bottom line.

Molly LePrade, who owns Special Accents in downtown Enterprise, said, "It has slowed the business down because people don't realize we're open.  They drive by, and they have the fences up, and it looks like all the businesses are closed."

She says this holiday shopping season will be critical to the success of her business.

LePrade said, "What I earn through November and December carries me through the rest of the year, so it's going to be rough if it doesn't pick up some."

But other downtown merchants, like Bob Cannon, aren't concerned.

Cannon said, "The beginning of the month is our busiest time, and this hasn't bothered our business at all."

Even so, the city isn't taking any chances.

Boswell said, "A great deal of attention is being paid in that area to make sure that the patrons of those businesses can get to them."

And over on College Street, business owners like Bobbi Dubose say, all the construction is worth it in the end.

Dubose said, "This is only going to take a few months, from what I understand, and it's going to be so beneficial because people are going to be attracted to that."

She says, the City of Progress, is living up to its name.

Construction costs totaled $560,000, with the Alabama Department of Transportation paying for 80% and the city paying for the other 20%.

It is set to be completed in March.

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