Decatur Development Blog

Expansion and Development in the Greater Decatur area

I’ve been pondering…

Posted by alalto on July 24, 2009


So, I’ve been thinking… what does Decatur REALLY need that would really get development going? What should the city do that would really attract people? What is it that would make the city a success?

I’m sure these are the questions that many city officials and citizens have been thinking about for years. So, for the next few days, I’m going to run through the things that I think the city really needs to do in order to really jumpstart growth in the city.

For today, I’m going to go over a few things that should really be looked at.

Riverfront

The riverfront is a part of the city that could and should be really improved. A lot of development has taken place, yes, but more needs to and can be done to improve the area and bring more tax revenue into the city.

The condo building that was just recently built is an excellent example of what we need more of along the river. Most of the city’s population lives miles from the shore and thus doesn’t visit the river much. Bringing population closer to the shores of the river will really drive up foot traffic and tax revenue along the river.

Also, we have some great facilities along the river that need to be marketed better. The city really has a great Parks and Rec department that really doesn’t get the attention from the population that it deserves. We have quality park space that most cities our size would only dream of having. Keep up with the parks inland, but also, focus some more money along the river.

I was in Montgomery yesterday and I had a chance to walk along the riverwalk. It was absolutely beautiful. I know, things like that cost millions upon millions of dollars, so we all know it would take years to do these things.

My main problem with our current riverwalk is that it is so short. It is very short. We have very little access to the river via parkspace for a city that stretches for miles along a very large river. We need a park that is river next to the river. Rhodes Ferry is excellent, but it needs to be closer to the water. Even though people aren’t supposed to, they make the dangerous trek down to the waters edge through all those rocks on the bank. We need a riverwalk that is about 5 to 10 feet directly above the waterline, but sits right on the water, it is ridiculous how detached you feel from the river when you walk along Rhodes Ferry.

There are great events along the river, but more needs to be done. What the city has done is great, but the city can’t do it all on its own. Private groups need to put initiative to put on events on the river in order to bring more people out. For a city that bases a lot of its existence on the river, we don’t use it much for recreation.

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