Leaders react well to idea of loft living

By ED HOWELL, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 3/19/17

Local leaders were positive after consultant Ron Drake spoke Tuesday at Musgrove Country Club, encouraging them to consider loft apartments in the downtown area.

Some of the leaders also participated in tours and discussions with Drake over his …

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Leaders react well to idea of loft living

Posted

Local leaders were positive after consultant Ron Drake spoke Tuesday at Musgrove Country Club, encouraging them to consider loft apartments in the downtown area.

Some of the leaders also participated in tours and discussions with Drake over his two-day stay in Jasper as he researched the feasibility of the idea.

After the meeting, owner Rusty Richardson of Bernard’s Store for Men said he felt very positive about what he had heard over the previous two days and during the tours.

“It got us excited about it,” he said. “I think it is very doable. It seems like everyone is on board. The City of Jasper is on board. I think it is going to be a very positive thing.” 

Mike Putman, executive director of Jasper Main Street, said all the essentials are available for success on the project. “We just need bodies in these loft apartments,” he said.

Asked about how businesses will react to the proposal, he said, “People, and mostly the people who live here, mostly underestimate themselves. But downtown has proven time and time again over the past three years that they are progressive and they are moving forward. Downtown is revitalizing. This is just another mountain for them to climb. I have every confidence that it will happen.” 

Jasper City Council member Jennifer Williams Smith, who has much of downtown in her district, said she and her daughter would like to live in a downtown loft. She said Mayor David O’Mary and a number of city officials met this week with Drake. She noted ordinances needed for lofts are all in place in the city, whereas some have to first come to cities to make the changes.