Buildings to be demolished in Russellville, redevelopment to start downtown

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Russellville city leaders are hopping on board to make their downtown area an anchor for new businesses.

Phase one of a redevelopment plan is tearing down buildings that have become a public nuisance. On Monday, city council members voted to demolish 215 and 217 Lawrence Street West. The buildings were damaged by a fire years ago, according to license and building inspector Bill Fuller.

They're going to work to tear them down by next week. Then, they will focus on TAP Project redevelopment plan.

"It includes several phases, and the buildings, that's just one phase," said Mayor David Grissom. "It has to do with sidewalks and lighting on two of our side streets so we can make downtown more uniform."

Council members voted to execute the 300-thousand dollar plan to streetscape Lawrence Street and Franklin Street. They're hoping to get those streets done quickly to apply for another tap grant next year for more side streets.

"Five years from now, hopefully we can look back and the whole downtown redevelopment area will be uniform and match."

Mayor Grissom also said his vision could include some rezoning in the downtown area to possibly include loft style apartments to overlook Jackson Avenue.

There's no timeline yet on when the project will start.