New residents enjoy life in Downtown Montgomery

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - For Mark Villacis, living in Downtown Montgomery has been everything he expected and more.

"I think this is a great area, it has everything you want from shopping to food to entertainment," Villacis said.  "And it's just a great nightlife and day life to come and enjoy."

He's one of the first tenants inside the new Water Tower Lofts.  It includes stainless steel appliances, tall ceilings and some added character, like wooden interior columns.

City planners said one of the keys to growing the downtown area is simply getting more people to move down here.

"You will be amazed at what having a few hundred souls living here overnight is going to do to wake up these storefronts and reinvigorate the cultural scene downtown," said Victor Dover, principal-in-charge of Dover, Kohl & Partners.  Dover was recently in Montgomery for the Congress for the New Urbanism meeting.

"There are plenty of stores right now, but I would like to see the rejuvenation of what's going here in the alley expand a few blocks over to the north, south east and west," Villacis said.  "I think it would really help the Montgomery economy, and the city as a whole."

The Water Tower Lofts were developed by Jerry Kyser.  Hundreds of new units of housing are planned for the downtown area over the next few years.

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