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Friday, 01 February 2008 01:03

Mixed Reviews on the Program to Revitalize Downtown Jackson

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slide11.pngJackson’s Downtown Merchants have mixed reviews on the “new and improved” program to revitalize downtown Jackson. Some merchants didn’t want to be interviewed yet, preferring to wait and see if the enthusiasm behind the current push for change on Main Street will continue, or if it will fizzle out as in past attempts. Some believe there’s not a problem with Main Street and that there are some really good businesses downtown. One merchant said constant negative attention by the media towards downtown just sends out the message that downtown is in trouble. This same merchant suggested we take a look at vacancies in other shopping centers.

More upbeat comments were voiced by Scott Ingraham, owner of “This & That”, and Sue Oneto, owner of Sue’s Shoppe. Ingraham has been doing business downtown in some form for the past 20 years. He believes what is occurring is of a cyclical nature. There is a widespread downturn in revenues that can be seen in other small communities, not just Jackson.  He feels the rents aren’t bad downtown, even though there are some vacancies. He is an opponent of a one-way Main Street and believes some park-like improvements would be good along the highway as well as downtown -- improvements that could be quickly done at minimal costs. Ingraham doesn’t think merchants, landlords and the city will be able to come together, not with City coffers low and revenues down but he did say the Economic Development Workshop held earlier this month was exceptional.

He was pleased by the overwhelming response and plans to attend the Economic Development Committee meeting. His main thought regarding lack of improvements to Main Street has been the belief that some “merchants want something for nothing -- rather than investing in their businesses, they want the City or the Historic Jackson Business Association to do it for them.” Ingraham thinks Main Street is a beautiful location and prefers to shop in Jackson … don’t expect to hear doom and gloom from him. Sue Oneto, who operates Sue’s Shoppe on Main Street, would like to see grant money used to clean-up some of older buildings; give them a face lift. She feels if downtown “looks attractive, charming and clean, people would want to come and do business here; because there are already some great shops here on Main Street.”

Read 761 times Last modified on Wednesday, 19 August 2009 01:55