8 projects underway to revitalize the Opelika Historic District

Updated: Aug. 9, 2018 at 6:07 PM EDT
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OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) -   Across America, downtown areas of cities are seeing new life and more investment than ever before.

In Opelika, some said revitalization is in order and now the request is being answered.

From housing to shops, there are eight ongoing projects here in downtown Opelika. Many said they have never seen this happen in the area before now.

"We go through spurts in development downtown and it is nice to see those spurts have come back," said Charlie Ray.

Ray is on the Opelika Historic Commission. He grew up in Opelika and has seen change over time, but what is happening now is something he said is special.

"Opelika is certainly on the rise," Ray said.

Bakeries, coffee shops, and local retail starting up and some re-locating are just part of a bigger picture.

"There's two projects going on right behind me (near Avenue A)  that the tenants are not named yet, but there are tenants looking at them. So, it will be interesting to see what comes into these beautiful old buildings," said Ray.

This historic district makeover does not stop at downtown shops. Images outside of a site at the corner of Avenue D and South 8th Street show state of the art homes being built in what used to be an eyesore in the area."

"It's the first time there's going to be construction for homes and condos in downtown Opelika for as long as I can remember," Ray said.

Business owners at Winston T. Smith Building Supply said there have been times where having a business downtown was hard. Now, business is booming.

"It's exciting. Owning business down here more people that are around downtown means more business for us and other business owners and it is just wonderful for everybody," said Dozier Smith T.

Ray says the best part about this effort is the business moving in is local.

"Local businesses coming in there's Opelika civic pride we like to support each other. They will bring more people to eat, shop, play in Opelika and that will certainly help the economy," said Ray.

Cakeitechture, Ampersand Wine Bar, V3 Media Group, and  Mama Mochas are just some of the new places that may catch your eye downtown.

Also, on 1st Avenue, a new men's clothing and fashion label, "Griff Goods" is a shop expected bring menswear along with a one of a kind fashion style for men.

There is potential of a new brewery along with more local retail expected in the near future.

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