Update on Dexter Avenue Revitalization

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By Ashley Thompson

If you've driven on Dexter Avenue in downtown Montgomery lately, you've probably noticed a lot of construction, which is causing some confusion. 

City officials say they are revitalizing Dexter, but what exactly are they doing?
 
Theo Katechis owns Chris's Hot Dogs, which has been on Dexter Avenue since 1917. He says when construction starts in front of his business, customers will have a hard time getting in. 
 
"We've been here so long and we're looking forward to the revitalization of downtown but as far as the sidewalks, that's going to put us in a difficult situation," he says. 
 
Hamp Russell, who owns City Drug, was also in that situation just months ago. Construction has since moved and a new business is coming in right next door, Charlie's Trophies.
 
"We've been here since 1986 and we can't wait," he says. "We're looking for all the new things that's going to be taking place in downtown Montgomery."
 
Melanie Golson with the Department of Development says the revitalization plans have caused a spiral effect.
 
"It has spawned so many phone calls of so many interested parties wanting to be on Dexter."
 
Jerald Labovitz was one of those interested parties. He bought a building on Dexter and plans to have retail on the first floor, lofts on the second and a personal residence on the third. 
 
"The reason that I bought the building is because I wanted to be a part of the positive momentum coming up Dexter Avenue," he says.
 
But with the revitalization comes construction and traffic, which can both be seen at the Lurleen Wallace building, where parking spots have been eliminated. Chris Conway is the Director of Public Works and says the construction will next move across the street.
 
"They are constructing what's called Capitol Park and it's a semi circular driveway. It's a walkway that will kind of extend the front steps of the Capitol."
 
Construction by the capitol is scheduled to be finished by December. City Officials want all construction on Dexter done by March of 2015. Because parking spots have been eliminated in front of the Capitol, additional parking will be added on Bainbridge street.

 



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