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Downtown Award for the Rose City

By: Sherea Harris
By: Sherea Harris

It's earned an award from the state for its accomplishments in revitalizing downtown.

There's one very important role of Thomasville's Mainstreet Authority that keeps downtown active and viable.

Sharlene Celaya, Mainstreet director, says, "Paint up, fix, clean up, making the town look good."

And that upkeeping is what attracts visitors like the Fifer's.

Ruth Ann Fifer, visiting downtown from Tallahassee, says, "I think it's a shame that so many of the downtown areas throughout the country are deteriorating and everything is moving to the suburbs. It's neat the shops are all organized."

Lisa Taylor, a downtown business owner, says, "We have a lot of Thomasville and Tallahassee and people out of town come here because Thomasville, it's a beautiful place."

A lot of work has gone into downtown over the years to get that result, and now it's paying off. Downtown has been recognized by the Georgia Downtown Association for one project in particular, the rehabilitation of the Flowers Building.

Sharlene adds, "That building was a problem for a long time and we used some very creative finance means to make the project happen."

JC Penny Company used to occupy one building. It was vacant for decades and became an eyesore, but after the two-year rehab project, Sharlene says, "It's wonderful and a plus for our downtown. It looks better and full of people who are now using our downtown."

It’s a downtown that's bustling with visitors lured in by the historic buildings, brick roads, and of course all the shops.

Sharlene says, "We're constantly getting calls from other DDAs saying ‘how did you do this?’"

And she's happy to reveal their secret to success.

The annual award is given at a conference of about 200 Georgia downtown professionals. Downtown Thomasville officials are proud of the award and say there's much more in store for downtown in the future.


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