Kalli Drake Staff Writer Madison’s
Downtown Development Authority convened on Thursday, Feb. 5 for a planning work session regarding many upcoming projects.
Several of these projects are found in the Downtown Urban Redevelopment Area (DURA), which includes the W. Washington Street Gateway, the N. Second Street Area, the Airport Industrial Area, the N. Main Street Neighborhood, the N. Main Street Gateway, and the Canaan Historic Neighborhood.
The current construction priority is the transition of the Gilmore property at 461 Burney St. to a Canaan Corner Store through the Redevelopment Fund program.
The Redevelopment Fund provides local governments with financial assistance for beginning projects that would not otherwise proceed. It focuses on local partnerships, and small scale, downtown projects are frontrunners for the program’s funding.
The application for the funding was submitted by Feb. 5, and it will likely be between 30 and 60 days before a response is given.
Buckhead residents Henry and Rita Harris submitted the application and will invest $23,172.90 in the store, while Rutledge resident Marilyn Williams will be a capital investor of $23,172.89.
“As a minority couple living in Morgan County, Henry and Rita Harris are especially aware of the lack of access to necessary convenient items for residents of the Canaan Historic Neighborhood and surrounding areas,” states the application for the Redevelopment Fund.
Henry Harris currently manages a package store and has built relationships with local residents through this operation. He and his wife are excited to provide what they feel is a much needed service to the Canaan neighborhood. The store will sell convenient items including groceries, personal care items, over-the-counter medicines and various snack foods.
Due to its location, the store will be within walking distance for many Canaan residents and hopes to become a “go-to” for the items it will stock. Canaan residents typically need to go across Madison to be able to access these items, but this store would largely improve the accessibility of many necessary items.