Dexter Avenue revitalization on the way

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It has been 93 years since Theo Katechis's dad opened Chris' Hot Dogs in downtown Montgomery.

"I worked with him as a young kid, and I have kids that's helped me out, too," he says.

Even though Dexter Avenue's changed through the years, he's never considered leaving.

"To me, this is the most important street in the state of Alabama.  I mean, so many things have happened...from the Civil War to the Civil Rights."

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says folks like Theo may soon see things happening on Dexter--again.

"I'm really excited about some of the prospects.  We have had at least two maybe some people would say three developers come with a vision," says Strange.

Deli's, grocery stores, loft apartments, and restaurants are all ideas on the table.

Strange says the city's working to acquire roughly 10 properties that could be sold to developers.

"What we're trying to do is protect and assist those strategic locations that make the most sense for a private developer."

Theo says his restaurant's good reputation kept him afloat during Dexter Avenue's lean years.

"We've been blessed, and it hasn't been always easy."

Now he's hoping a re-birth will return the street and all downtown to its glory days.

"I'm looking forward to this revitalization and hope it comes to Dexter Avenue."

The mayor says nothing is set in stone right now.  He can't even call these efforts a full fledged project yet.

It could be a year or more before there's any real development.

The city received support from state funds a while ago to help revitalize and create a streetscape for Dexter Avenue.

Strange hopes to make an announcement in a few months.

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