MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The city of Montgomery has signed a three-year contract with Buxton, a retail recruitment firm, to help develop business in some areas of the city.
“Retail will go where they feel like they are going to be successful,” said Mayor Todd Strange. “There are certain areas in our community where there may be specialty stores that might be successful.”
Strange said Buxton will conduct research and advise which parts of Montgomery those businesses might best thrive, then work to bring them to the area.
“We do have areas that are deserts for retail and we want this study to identify who might be willing to go in there and try and recruit those individuals,” Strange said.
Montgomery can opt out of the contract with Buxton within the first year, if the city is not satisfied with the results.
“We’re excited about this opportunity, we hope it bears fruit, but if it doesn’t then we can terminate it and go another direction,” Strange said.
Strange also discussed the city’s plan to remediate abandoned and blighted properties in the community, and how that could play a part in revitalizing business. On Aug. 1, demolition crews leveled the 435th dilapidated building in Montgomery, and Strange said six to eight more have been approved for demolition.
“Anytime you have vibrancy in a community that means these properties are going to be more apt to be developed, and so to the extent that we can get down dilapidation and have a nice clean property there, the likelihood of that being developed is going to be greater than if you got old dilapidation next door or a block away,” Strange said.
Strange said $500,000 has been allotted in the current budget for more demolitions, and 320 properties have been identified for possible destruction.