Krider proposed business ideas to bridge that gap and bring both to downtown. Sports bars and concepts like a hotel and conference center could bring more variety to downtown, he said. Cruise-ins and shows at
Two visions, one town
Additionally, the visions of the city and of Research Campus leaders aren't exactly the same. Contrasted with Krider's mixed-use concept reminiscent of downtown
Anything the city wants to do with downtown will require the consent of
"We've got to be sure that we're both on the same page as to how we see the future development of that downtown area," he said.
Krider said bringing in business that attracts the community as a whole, the area will grow faster.
There are hurdles to realizing that vision for downtown. The buildings are structurally sound, but many have asbestos, outdated HVAC systems and wiring and are not up to code.
"We've got a lot of missing teeth," Krider said.
And many are too big and deep to easily be used for a new wave of businesses.
And, of course, there's the chicken-and-egg situation of a lack of customers and a lack of businesses.
The city continues to work toward revitalization, with
The road ahead
Businesses are moving to the Research Campus and are slowly trickling into downtown.
"We are pretty happy with things as they are going right now, Misenheimer said. "We are not satisfied by any means, but at the same time, considering where we've come and what we've gone through I guess that's a good as we can do anywhere."
The Research Campus is "certainly a godsend to
"We've got to figure out what we want to be when we grow up," Hartsell said, adding the state legislature needs to focus on economic development that will help
Hartsell said the vision of the Research Campus will be realized when a major discovery is made there and implemented for the benefit of the community and elsewhere. He said in 2008 he doesn't want to retire until that point.
"That could happen tomorrow," he said.
"I think the picture looks real bright for
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