Update on Revitalization in Cloverdale Community
New businesses have been popping up in the Cloverdale community in Montgomery recently despite the pandemic bringing hope for more revitalization to the area.
The Cloverdale Community has seen several businesses established in the past years… But also some of them forced to shut doors.
City Councilman Clay McInnis who took the role over District 7 last year said it’s a tight-knit community, but he has a bigger vision for the future: “I see this street packed with people. I see events happening again. Concerts… We used to have concerts and would block off the street… Where we have thriving businesses on top of the small businesses that are already here.”
A major goal that McInnis and the City of Montgomery are working on is to revamp dilapidated buildings like this one on East Fairview Avenue.”The city can only do so much, and people can only do so much,” McInnis said. “It’s up to that property owner to do that, and that honestly is the challenge. We’re trying to help and doing everything that we can, but we’ve got to press on forward.”
Eric Hill, owner of 5 Points Deli and Grill, also a Cloverdale resident, opened his restaurant just two years ago. He said the Cloverdale community has a unique atmosphere that other parts of the city don’t have. After catering on the side for several years, Hill decided to set up shop in the heart of District 7.
“This building was just sitting here, so I kept calling and kept calling and he called me back,” Hill explained. “I talked about it, liked what we heard and next thing you know we’re doing demolitions and getting a restaurant up and going.”
Like McInnis, Hill has high hopes for his neighborhood: “I would just love to find these old buildings and get them renovated into office spaces, boutiques, anything really to start bringing people back to the area.”
“We just all have to support the businesses that are already here… that are already opening up… that are already new, while continuing to push for progress,” McInnis told us.
Like small businesses everywhere, the pandemic has added high stress on owners. McInnis encourages community members to shop local as much as possible instead of ordering online.
City Councilman McInnis said the pandemic has also put a damper on new developments. He said before March, some potential buyers backed out of opening businesses because of the economy.