Residents wonder what happened to revitalization

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Gladys Pierce's home cooking has been a staple on the west side for 28 years. "I am a little worried," she explained.

She wants her restaurant to be part of the city's West Fairview Avenue revitalization project, but says she hasn't seen or heard of any progress lately.

"Right now, we're just waiting...hanging in the balance," adds Pierce.

"The changes we have proposed will happen," says Montgomery Deputy Mayor, Jeff Downes.

Downes says revitalization is coming for places like West Fairview, and the once popular Mt. Meigs Road.  But he can't pinpoint exactly when construction will begin.

"When you rely on monies from other levels of government, it affects the timing of the project. It can slow it down, it can speed it up. We are not in control."

Downes says construction for a new streetscape along Mt. Meigs Road in Capitol Heights was scheduled to begin months ago.

But it was put on hold when Alabama Department of Transportation officials said they might put up the money for the whole project, leaving Wanda Oswalt asking when it would happen.

"We really thought it would have started at least by now. And so, I keep looking but I don't see any progress," says Oswalt.

The streetscape bidding process should begin within two months.

Across town, Pierce waits for answers on Fairview's facelift.

City leaders say they plan to talk to business owners about funding new storefronts along Fairview within the next few weeks.

"I would love to have a new storefront. I would love for my parking lot to be paved," adds Pierce.

The West Fairview Avenue revitalization project is a series of projects many of which are happening simultaneously.

Lanier Place is an area of new homes just off Fairview that is already under construction.

City leaders say they bought the land for the new Genetta Park just off Fairview and I-65.

They are waiting for ADEM to give them the go-ahead to bid it out.

City leaders say construction should begin at Mt. Meigs Road and the Genetta Park by the end of the year.

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