Most of the progress currently seen on the southern end of Main Street involves old buildings being torn down, but there’s one notable exception.
While bricks are being hauled away from the site where some historic buildings once stood, new bricks are going up at two long-abandoned buildings on the third block.
Where most people saw an eyesore, Yazoo City businessman Alan Ramsay saw an opportunity.
Ramsay is investing in two adjoining buildings that he plans to develop with apartments on the second floor and space available for new business on the first floor.
It’s a significant challenge.
Neither building has a roof, and both buildings needed brick work.
Ramsay has the experience to take on such a challenge. His company, Historic Renovations of Yazoo, specializes in restoring historic structures. The company is currently working on Yazoo’s City Hall.
“I have always believed in Yazoo City long term,” Ramsay said. ”
Ramsay said his experience owning upstairs apartments in other downtown buildings is what convinced him that investing in these buildings will be profitable over time. His other properties are always occupied.
“There are plenty of people who are interested in living in nice apartments downtown,” Ramsay said. “Our downtown is safe, and it’s convenient for people who work here and would rather live here than commute every day.”
Ramsay said that more people living downtown will add to the success of the local business community and make the area more attractive to new investors.
In addition to his own real estate projects, Ramsay said he hopes to help boost the efforts of other business and property owners to revitalize Main Street.
“I’m going to try to find people who want to set up businesses in downtown Yazoo City,” Ramsay said. “We need a concentrated effort. We have a group of local business and property owners coming together and working together. It doesn’t matter whose building gets it – we need more activity downtown. It’s good for all of us. We’re trying to raise the bar downtown.”
Ramsay said he is convinced there is real opportunity for investors to develop real estate or business owners looking for a place to set up shop.
“We can take an entrepreneur and put them in a situation where they can be successful,” he said. “We’ve just got to focus on selling our strengths and improving on our weaknesses. We’ve got a great group of business owners working together, and they have some exciting plans for downtown Yazoo.”