Sheffield’s downtown seeing first signs of growth in decades

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SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) – Teetering on the brink of extinction for many years, Sheffield is making a comeback.  For the first time in more than 50 years, construction is taking place in downtown Sheffield, and it’s sparked several renovations.

‘For Sale’ signs in the windows of vacant buildings have been commonplace over the years in downtown Sheffield.  But drive through today, and you’ll see orange cones and building construction taking place all around.

“I’ve been here when things weren’t so good,” Sheffield Mayor Ian Sanford explained. “And to see this happen, in the back of your head you have this goal that you hope that it happens. But it takes private individuals to come in and see this.”

Mayor Sanford said for the first time in 51 years, a brick and mortar building is going up along Montgomery Avenue, the city’s main street.

Developer Laquita Logan saw a vision for downtown Sheffield.  Logan is building a clothing store at Montgomery and 3rd Street, and has purchased two more buildings to completely renovate.

“You get these ideas in your head of what we can do, what we can add, and when there’s nothing, it’s pretty easy to come up with what you want to do. So yes, it is a canvas,” Logan said.

And Mayor Sanford sees even more developers coming into downtown Sheffield to become part of the town’s redevelopment.

A specialty clothing store, traditional hardware store, Christian bookstore, hair salon and a few other businesses are moving into downtown Sheffield in the coming months.

City leaders credit a streetscape project for helping lure developers into downtown Sheffield.