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Madison city workers finish downtown revitalization

MADISON, Ala. -- City leaders in Madison threw a party on Friday evening to celebrate some work they finished downtown.

Business owners along Main Street are hoping it'll bring more families and dollars downtown.

With some music and drinks on the patio, Old Black Bear Brewing Company is a popular spot for high school football parents.

"We're hoping for some Friday night football tailgate parties to pick up," Old Black Bear owner Todd Seaton said.

On Friday evening, Todd Seaton is getting his wish. The brewery is a short walk from the Madison Stadium.

"Now that they've opened up this area back here, you can have a whole lot more people coming in," Madison neighbor Nick Lavenant said.

Madison city leaders can't call it a well-kept secret anymore. They invited neighbors out to help celebrate a beautification project which includes repaving Martin Street, new lighting, sidewalks and nearly 100 more parking spots.

"When you tie that in with Town Madison off 565, it creates a connectivity where you`re just flowing into Madison, being able to enjoy everything we have to offer," City of Madison Communications Specialist Samantha Magnuson said.

It's taken about two years and three phases for Madison city leaders to finish the project. The goal was the draw in more foot traffic to downtown.

"There are a lot of people who are interested in Downtown now who wouldn't have been otherwise if they hadn't made these small improvements," Seaton said.

"Hopefully with the parking lot back here, maybe it'll bring a couple more restaurants and some small businesses as well," Lavenant said.

City leaders spent around $2 million for the work. They are also anticipating more shopping and housing being built with the Sealy project along Sullivan Street.