Montgomery's Southside: "Under Stress"

Less than a decade ago, Montgomery's Southside was the place to be, with shops and a mall attracting customers to the Capital City.

Today, it's a different scene, and it's getting worse.

"I think it's under stress.  That's obvious," explained Ken Groves, Director of City Planning and Development.

City planners see the area as troubled--to say the least--now that more and more stores are leaving that side of town.

"As these places develop, they just get overly populated and create a problem.  Some businesses elect to go out to the next new place," Groves said.

Usually, that means closing down and heading East.  It's an option all too common for businesses on the Southern Bypass.

"That's one of the busiest intersections in the City of Montgomery, and it's frustrating from my standpoint that we can't make anything work there," said Glen Pruitt, Montgomery's Councilman for District 8.

It's a problem that's been creeping up the "Boulevard" for years, and as businesses and national chains pack up, shut down, and relocate, city planners say they're hoping for a positive change.

"It's strategic location is too good.  That real estate is too valuable for it to stay empty forever," Groves said.

Residents don't want to take the chance.

Businesses will go out to Pike Road before [they] come back here.  This is the time now to try to take advantage of what we have instead of closing it all down," said Sheila Morrissette, a Montgomery resident.

Reporter:  Cody Holyoke