Development in Springfield fuels hope for the future

Work on downtown businesses inspires hope for a time after COVID-19 shutdowns

Development in Springfield fuels hope for the future

SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (WTOC) - While some businesses are beginning to reopen across Georgia, many others remain closed due to COVID-19.

Leaving towns like Springfield looking for a sign of a brighter future. A sign they may have found in a downtown that continues to change and grow against all odds.

Of course, the town hasn’t been immune to the economic impacts caused by the spread of COVID-19

“You know, we’re all really nervous about our small businesses. Some of them are still opening and going but it’s been a hard hit for some of them to not be able to operate they way they’re accustomed to,” said Springfield Community Development Director Erin Phillips.

As you drive through downtown, things don’t quite look like they used to. Businesses completely shut down or operating in new ways to keep everyone safe.

But Phillips says there may be a bright spot.

“It’s definitely seeming like the construction projects are doing well. I think people have a little extra time and they’re taking advantage of that.”

That may be putting it lightly.

One of the biggest transformations on Laurel Street, "the former Walt’s building is finally under construction,” said Phillips

In under three months the old furniture store making a major transformation.

Just a down the road, “Blocker’s is one that’s finally getting a good idea of what that new look is going to be like there,” Phillips adds.

Putting on some final touches as they aim for an opening this fall.

These are far from the only projects in downtown right now.

A good sign for the city.

“It is definitely positive feedback to see them out working on their buildings and continuing to invest in them,” said Phillips.

A reminder that all hope isn’t lost.

“There’s light at the end of the tunnel and they’re just trying to get ready for everything to get to some semblance of normal again,” said Phillips.

And how you see the world right now, just depends on where you’re looking.

Again, the owner of the old Blocker’s building did say they are still hoping to be up and running by sometime this fall, but they still don’t have a specific date set nor are they releasing what will fill the old building.

As for the old Walt’s Building, they were originally aiming for August of this year but WTOC did not hear back from the building’s owner to see if they are still on schedule.

Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.