OPELIKA, Ala.- Two years ago, Jimmy Wright, owner of Wright’s Market new something had to be done to help the Carver-Jeter neighborhoods.
He says some of his customers come from these neighborhoods, and he wanted to give back to a community that has done so much for him. He went to Mayor Gary Fuller’s office. Wright says Mayor Fuller has been extremely helpful throughout the process. Wright began reaching out to groups that have done revitalization projects around the country. He got in contact with an Atlanta group, which then advised Wright that there needed to be a complete community plan. From there, he got in contact with the Canvas Planning Group.
They began to outline a vision for the communities, taking into recommendations of citizens in the communities. Some of the items have been completed, but now the group is back in Opelika to plan further for the future.
Aaron Fortnor, the owner of the group says they want to focus in on street refurbishment, improving the blighted house situation, working with the housing authority to help it fit in to the neighborhood better and also find places for recreation and businesses to go.
Fortnor says they want to keep the charm of the neighborhoods, along with its residents. “So that means, there are so many people,” Fortnor said. “There’s all kinds of people in these neighborhoods who love these neighborhoods and we want to continue to make this a place where they want to be.”
Wright says “the thing that has been the most rewarding is that there is a tremendous amount of older people, the ones that we knew and listened to that have a great appreciation for the history of the neighborhoods in trying to address that; coupled with a younger generation that wants to go to Opelika.”