$2.5M to make Fondren fabulous - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

$2.5M to make Fondren fabulous

Fondren is a colorful district that continues to grow with new shops and restaurants. But locals say it's time for a revamp. Fondren is a colorful district that continues to grow with new shops and restaurants. But locals say it's time for a revamp.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Fondren is a colorful district that continues to grow with new shops and restaurants. But locals say it's time for a revamp.

"It's kind of a little small town because it was a suburb of Jackson, but unfortunately being an older suburb, some of the curbs and the sidewalks and the utility poles are outdated and just never really cleaned up," said Brad Reeves from Brent's Drugs in Fondren.

The community gathered for a town hall meeting Thursday. The make-over was the topic of a presentation about the "Fondren Enhancement Grant".

"It was applied for about five years ago through some of our council members in our wards. So, the money is there. You have to be persistent. Neighborhoods need to join together to focus on things like this but they are possible," explained Jim Wilkirson, Executive Director of Fondren Renaissance Foundation.

Two and a half million dollars has been set aside for the project. It will focus on beautification including: replacing and widening sidewalks, signs as you enter the district and intersection improvements.

"I think all the businesses again win because somebody will come to the entire district and not just one business but walk from one business to another and spend time there looking at all the businesses, like a mall," Brad Reeves said.

There are already many community groups devoted to keeping the district safe.
But by making the area more biker and pedestrian friendly, residents say it will help give them a sense of security.

"By putting in these enhancements that will really make the business district a desirable place to come. You'll be having more people on street, more eyes on the street, which in turn always increases safety," said resident Anne Welch.

The goal is for construction to begin later this year.

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