Valdosta Daily Times

Business

December 22, 2007

Breathing fresh life into Downtown

VALDOSTA — Richard Miller remembers his parents dropping him off downtown so they could tend to their jobs. His father was the Trailways Bus agent at the station that was located across the street from City Hall. His mother worked at Barr Jewelers.

“They’d bring me downtown and turn me loose,” Miller recalls. “I loved hanging out on the streets, reading comic books, just making the rounds. I used to sell boiled peanuts on the street corner.”

Miller, an architectural designer who owns CMA Architectural Services Inc., offered the observations from his past while standing in front of the old Southern Salvage building at 109-111 S. Ashley St. with his girlfriend Dr. Amanda Hall, a local veterinarian.

Miller is part of a group of investors, Yellow Rose of Valdosta LLC, who are committed to continuing downtown’s resurgence as a great place to live, work, shop or conduct business. Hall, too, is a partner in another downtown investment group, 213-215 North Ashley Street LLC.

These folks are putting their money where their hearts are.

Yellow Rose LLC includes partners Miller, Mike Lee, Albert Slone, Ron Borders, Will Hansen, Allan Nagy, Jimmy Cone and Mariana Ndonye. The group is working with Valdosta Main Street and the Central Valdosta Development Authority (CVDA) to restore and bring life back to the Southern Salvage building and others.

Main Street Manager Jan Harris confirmed that Yellow Rose’s two projects planned for the Southern Salvage building are included in a list of applicants for low interest construction/renovation loans available to the CVDA. The seven other projects on the pending loan application list, combined with the Yellow Rose projects, offer an exciting glimpse of what these staunch downtown supporters have in store for the 26-block downtown area.

The Southern Salvage building, for example, is really two separate buildings, dubbed the north or south building for location. Both were built at around the turn of the century and have seen everything from bowling lanes to a YWCA inside. The southern building actually housed the world’s second Coca-Cola bottling plant, Miller noted.

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