- Valdosta's neighbor, Hahira, is undertaking several projects to revitalize it's downtown.
- Plans include an open air market, a bed and breakfast, a bakery, and a side cafe.
- Watch the video to hear from Hahira residents about their plans for the future.
If you’ve driven past our neighboring community of Hahira, chances are, you’ve seen this empty lot. What you may not know is the city has big plans for it.
"We cultivate beauty."
I’m Malia Thomas, in Valdosta, and I’m taking a look at how a new open air market will give us more to do.
Remember Jennifer Sumner, the Small Farmer of the Year award winner?
She's going to be the future owner of Fancy Girl Farms restaurant and open air market in Hahira, which is helping to revitalize it's downtown Main Street.
"We're opening a farm to table restaurant and as and also on the property we've got a large open air market that we're going to do that all have our flowers fresh produce and we also have vegetable and flower gardens that we're designing as well as a small cafe and market."
Those aren't the only big plans for the community.
Meet Hahira Main Street director Jennifer Price.
"We got some good things coming to Hahira."
She tells me the downtown strip is slated to add more businesses and recreation for the growing community to enjoy.
"We also have an establishment called The Bus it's gonna be a pub and grill we have a new bait and tackle shop and somewhere sometime in the recent future are in the near future we are going to have a French bakery and a downtown bed and breakfast."
To better understand how these developments would help Valdosta and Lowndes as a whole, I spoke with Visit Valdosta, our tourism board.
Dave DiSalvo, president and CEO, tells me in a phone interview while they don't have specific number for Hahira, its downtown revenue is included in Valdosta-Lowndes ecumenic tourism impact, which includes:
Retail: $64 million
Food and Beverage: $115.4 million
Recreation: $56.8 million
Overall: $387 million
Jennifer tells me while the economic benefits of growth are great, revitalizing downtown Hahira is all about preserving history while keeping things fresh for the modern era.
"The community in its entirety is amazing I love this little downtown we are small of just 3400 residents but we have so many offerings."
Hahira open air market is slated to open spring of next year. I’m Malia Thomas, ABC27.