Group works to revitalize downtown Dalton

DALTON, Ga. (WDEF) — A group in Dalton has been working to revitalize the downtown and business owners are noticing.

On Tuesday night, members of Believe Greater Dalton’s Downtown Strategy Team presented their master plan.

Mama Wilson’s Homemade Cookies and Cakes sits in downtown Dalton. It’s been there for five years.

Owner Jane Marie Wilson wasn’t expecting a lot of customers to walk in.

“A lot of buildings were not occupied and we moved in and I thought we are off the beaten path. We will just sit here and do our little shipping company,” Wilson said.

She says then people started coming downtown more often.

“So just the foot traffic and the people downtown has increased ten fold from when we moved in,” Wilson said.

Down the street, Raspberry Row just celebrated 20 years in September. They’ve also noticed the changes.

“New businesses, new places to eat, a different feel a different momentum. People are excited and proud of their downtown,” said Krista Long, with Raspberry Row.

Believe Greater Dalton’s Downtown Strategy Team started working on a master plan ten months ago.

Part of it included converting this building to apartments and continuing what’s already been done.

“The biggest changes that are needed is several years ago downtown began a streetscaping project which upgraded our sidewalks some of our other public areas and we would love to expand upon that,” said David Aft, co-chair of Believe Greater Dalton’s downtown strategy team

“We feel it is important to do things like focus on downtown redevelopment, focus on housing in our community, focus on economic development and entrepreneurs,” said Rob Bradham, with the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce.

As for Wilson, she enjoys meeting all the new people that are coming in.

“They are like what else is here and we can kind of steer them in different directions and just to kind of check out the homegrown culture and some of the local businesses and the local flavor, is all downtown,” Wilson said.

The group got input from more than one thousand people for their master plan.

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