Downtown projects can tip off future

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 31, 2004

Spring cleaning seems to be in the air in downtown Natchez. Several business owners and individuals are cleaning out old buildings and putting a fresh face on our community.

In his 2000 book &uot;The Tipping Point,&uot; Malcolm Gladwell describes small events that tipped off larger, more sweeping changes &045;&045; both positive and negative.

When we look at what is happening on one block of downtown Natchez &045;&045; right around where a plaque designates the &uot;center of the City of Natchez&uot; &045;&045; we believe we are seeing the beginnings of that change.

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As one business owner said, &uot;It’s creating a buzz.&uot;

A buzz indeed. That block will soon be home to a new restaurant, antiques store and apartments.

Elsewhere downtown, more new businesses are slowly growing, a major bed and breakfast hotel has just been purchased and work continues on longtime renovations.

We don’t expect to see major changes overnight. There are still many vacant buildings downtown &045;&045; and still many eyesores.

But perhaps the work being done now will be a tipping point to more renovations and renewed growth. Can you just imagine a bustling downtown &045;&045; every block, every storefront teeming with activity?

Downtown, as an architectural expert said, &uot;should be promoted as the heartbeat of the community.&uot;

We can indeed promote downtown &045;&045; and even its very center, as noted on the plaque &045;&045; as the heartbeat of our community.

And those visionaries whose hard work can turn dilapidated buildings into a revitalized, thriving retail center are its lifeblood.