Members of the Vibrant Downtown Issue Work Group met on March 14, 2011, with Leamon Scott and Billy Parish from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to request assistance with several needs related to the “top 3” priorities: (1) Developing North Hamilton Street, (2) Revitalizing Planet of the Grapes building; and (3) Developing Crawford Street based on streetscape designs. DCA has identified numerous resources that are available to assist with the efforts and will begin gathering specific information regarding best practices across the state.
Two students from the UGA Terry College of Business are currently working on three informational components needed by the Issue Work Group. First, the students are researching the specific businesses/types of businesses that can be financially feasible and successful in a downtown area, and identifying how similar communities have recruited those businesses. Second, the students are comparing our downtown to others in terms to identify potential obstacles to recruitment, such as zoning restrictions and operational policies. Third, the students are studying how successful non-chain businesses can be maintained in downtowns. A report of these findings and recommendations is expected in early May.