There’s no doubt that the Dothan Downtown Redevelopment Authority has made great strides in improving our city’s downtown core area, despite criticisms from some residents who believe such efforts are a waste of time. We disagree with that position; in recent years, there has been a steady resurgence of building renovations and new ventures, and we expect that trend to continue.
Chalk it up to innovative thinking. Revitalization efforts have been in the works for decades, and while a few buildings were brought back to life with great early success, new life has taken fast hold in recent years, perhaps thanks to the creation of the DDRA and out-of-the-box strategies to help move things along.
Downtown is well on its way, but hasn’t quite arrived, as there are still some structures that need attention. Recently, the DDRA launched an initiative that will help in the interim.
The organization voted recently to spend about $3,800 on overlays to cover boarded up windows on a building it owns in the first block of South Foster Street. The overlays will feature murals hoped to create an “Instagrammable” location to become a backdrop for social media users.
We think it’s a fine idea, if for no other reason than it creates something to look at besides a sad, derelict storefront. Vivid beautification panels will serve as a placeholder until the building finds its own new purpose, and if social media aficionados are drawn to it and spread the word of downtown renaissance, all the better.