DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Downtown Dothan is open for business with a steady stream of store fronts popping up in the last year.
"I would say 3 to 5 new businesses that are still operating today," said Jamie Bienveu, executive director of Dothan Downtown Redevelopment Authority.
While downtown has continued to flourish, it's about to get its biggest economic jolt in years. Alan Clark, owner of DSI Security, along with his family just purchased the old coke bottling plant off North St. Andrews and East Adams Street. The family plans to turn the space into an entertainment complex.
"A lot of people go to the beach and the lake on the weekend, but our thought was to try to keep people in Dothan," said Boyd Clark, part owner.
Work starts Monday on phase one to transform the coke plant into a one stop shop for fun. "There will be a stage and across the street a large amphitheater to hold 4,000 people next to the police department," said Alan Clark. That's just the short list. It will also house restaurants and there have been talks about including apartments.
The stage area is expected to be finished by December 10th in time for a performance by artist, David Ramirez. Work on the amphitheater will start next year.
The owners say it's too early to know the full economic impact, but say it's a major investment in the community, "We going to employ a lot of people. We'll have a sales tax on what we sell and we're paying property tax on the property," said Boyd Clark.
The family anticipates hiring roughly 40 people to work the concert area in the first phase of the project.
The property was also approved to be included as part of Dothan's downtown entertainment district.