Downtown Jackson continues to grow, and draws new residents to the hub city
JACKSON, TENN (WNBJ)-
The city of Jackson has been working to revitalize downtown. Over the last year, fifteen new businesses have opened in downtown and six million dollars in private investments have been made, according to the Jackson Downtown Development Corporation.
“If it's healthy, I think the rest of the city is healthy and it's our business district, so we need to have thriving businesses, local business, retail, restaurant, residential," said Beth Ann Simpson, the Director for the Jackson Downtown Development Corporation.
People like Kyle Spurgeon the President of the Greater Jackson Chamber are noticing the growth that’s happening in downtown!
“I've always said a downtown is the soul of a community. The heartbeat of Jackson's beating a whole lot stronger because of what's happened over the past ten years downtown. And we're very optimistic about seeing more growth in our downtown community," he said.
With the amount of people moving to West Tennessee a healthy downtown is one of the factors that people look for when choosing what city to move to.
“When we bring prospects and we bring people in, when people look at our community, downtown is one of the first things i want to look at.," Mayor Scott Conger said.
Simpson shared her thoughts on the topic, "You can get out and walk and visit several locations, take care of several services, go to a restaurant, retail, grocery store, live. You can really do all that in that area. And I think that it's an attractive option when you're looking to relocate or locate somewhere,"
“Downtowns in a community that's often the most recognized spot. So if you don't have a downtown that is vibrant, that may cause questions where someone is like, why is this town forgotten they're downtown?" Spurgeon said.
The Mayor and the City Council haven’t forgotten the downtown in the hub city. The city has created an arts district to encourage public art, working to make the city more walkable and redoing major roads.
“This is the work that we're doing as a city on extending our airways to redevelop that and rebuild that. So as people come off the bypass, they're going into a nice downtown," said Mayor Conger.
From the private side, there is more growth on the way Simpson said, “We've got several more restaurants coming online in the coming year, and that's important for the health of our downtown as well as a residential unit. So a lot of developers are working on the second and third floor of our buildings to be residential, and that's important."