Downtown Renovations Driving Economic Development Opportunity in Dublin | Arts & Culture
In fall 2010, representatives from the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Tourism Product Development Division toured Laurens County and developed a plan to assist community leaders in fostering new and existing tourism products.
As a result of the GDEcD Resource Team’s visit and suggestions, downtown Dublin is undergoing a remarkable renovation effort in hopes of driving economic development and expanding its appeal to tourists. One project suggested by the resource team was to create “a cohesive district encouraging people to park, walk, and spend more time and money” in downtown Dublin. At the suggestion of the resource team, the City of Dublin and Dublin Downtown Development Authority have collaborated to build a $1 million pedestrian plaza in the heart of downtown, linking the Dublin Carnegie, Theatre Dublin, and the Market on Madison. With its brick-paved corridor featuring a pedestrian walkway, beautiful landscaping, and a pocket park with a breathtaking granite fountain, Bicentennial Plaza creates a pedestrian focus, increases parking, and offers visitors a postcard image of Dublin. Bicentennial Plaza will allow downtown Dublin to become the home of many outdoor events, such as March’s St. Patrick’s Arts & Crafts Festival and Pig in the Park BBQ Fest.
“There is a sense of collaboration and vibrancy in our downtown that is setting our entire community up to be a shining star in Georgia. Through building partnerships and seeing value in the investment, our community is embracing our rich history and moving swiftly into the future,” enthused Tara Bradshaw, Main Street Dublin and Downtown Development Authority Director, “It is exciting to see such willing participation from our city leadership in the redevelopment of our downtown, and more importantly, for that leadership to understand the value of building relationships to reach a common goal.”
Construction of Bicentennial Plaza began in May 2013, and is set for completion by the end of this year. Additional projects slated for completion include renovations to Theatre Dublin, restoration of the Dublin Carnegie, and construction of additional sidewalks, parks and green space.
“With tourism generating over $2.8 billion in state and local taxes in 2012, the City of Dublin and Downtown Development Authority are creating avenues for future economic growth in Laurens County, laying the foundation today for future business and industry recruitment, community development, retiree attraction, and strengthening our appeal to the traditional tourist,” said Rebecca McWilliam, Director of Tourism, Dublin-Laurens Tourism Council, Inc. “Collaborations such as those created during the construction of Bicentennial Plaza attract interest in our county and lead to additional opportunities, such as Dublin receiving two Tourism Product Development (TPD) Agreements from GDEcD to partially fund restoration of the Dublin Carnegie and renovations to Theatre Dublin.”
For a copy of the Georgia Tourism Resource Team Report, please contact Dublin-Laurens Tourism Council, Inc. by calling 478-272-4002 or emailing email@example.com.