South Columbus residents discuss development ideas during virtual meeting

Published: Jun. 3, 2021 at 1:02 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - South Columbus having a bad reputation and a push to bring more businesses and development to this part of town has been an issue for decades.

Wednesday night, people who live there had the chance to weigh in on what changes they’d like to see to help revitalize their area.

New developments could be coming to south Columbus as the city’s Community Reinvestment Department is looking at a plan to revitalize. Community Reinvestment Director Rob Scott says they’re working toward establishing a Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area, or NRSA.

“The goal of a NRSA is to spur investment in economically distressed neighborhoods,” Scott said.

Scott says NRSA’s are designed to deliver economic and housing activities that support a few outcomes.

“Increases in home ownership rates, reductions in vacancy, increase in housing values, educational attainment, employment rates, median household incomes,” said Scott.

Supporting partnerships and working with the community is a key part of this plan, which is where input from south Columbus residents comes into play.

“The closeness over here, we need to get that back and need to get more things for kids to be entertained,” one resident said.

“There are a lot of senior citizens who are living in subpar conditions only because they can’t afford to live anywhere else. There should be many more senior citizen homes,” another resident said.

“We’ve got homes over here in south and east Columbus. They’re plenty of homes. What you don’t see are the commercial buildings, the commercial restaurants and some of the things that the area could make use of in the near future,” added another.

The Community Reinvestment Department is working with several consultants to help guide them through the development of the NRSA plan. Scott calls this plan an “ambitious undertaking.”

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