ATHENS Ala. – The alley way between 105 N. Jefferson and 107 N. Jefferson will be turned into an area where residents can sit, gather, and actively experience spaces called Merchant’s Alley.
Athens Main Street is involved with the project, along with their partners and several other organizations that have been part of other Main Street projects in the past, including The Exchange, High Cotton Arts, and short-term projects such as the creation of pop-up parks and window galleries.
Main Street Board President, Shane Black said he couldn’t be more excited for the project and knows how much this will add to the area, “Downtown is the heart of the community, it’s a special place. When we bring people here to visit us for the first time, or when our kids take pictures for prom, or when you have celebrations and parades we all gather down here it is a special place. It’s an organization like this, Athens Main Street to try to put the emphasis on this place to keep it renovated and revitalized. This is just one more great step in that direction.”
Currently, the alley is owned by Derrick Young, owner of UG White. Young has long been a strong supporter of downtown revitalization and growth. Young plans to work with the team on this project.
Excited to be a part of this new project, Young said, “Bringing this alley to life and making it a place to enjoy for all our community will be a real pleasure. In naming the alley Merchant’s Alley, we wanted to give a nod of respect to all the hardworking business owners that came before and those who currently call The Square home. Without them and their commitment to downtown, the heart of our community would not beat as strong.”
The alley way will feature painted murals along it’s walls. Athens Main Street Executive Director Tere Richardson encourages artists to be on the lookout for opportunities to add their mark to Merchants Alley.
The restoration of the alley way will start next week, the city is looking at early summer 2021 for a completion.