Revitalization efforts in Jackson making impact

Have you been to Uptown Jackson lately?

The uptown commercial portion of Jackson has a rather small footprint, with most of the retail along a short stretch of High Street, along with some businesses along Main. But you won't find many empty storefronts.

What you will find, though, is a quaint place to visit some small shops, grab a nice dinner or a drink or two. The sidewalks, building exteriors, lighting and other ambiance of the district is inviting.

This was not the case just 10 or so years ago, when the downtown district looked to be headed in a downward direction. The Uptown uptick can be traced back to a man named Tom Strickland, who in 2000 wanted to get his building at 113 W. Main St. placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Strickland ended up working with other business and building owners to improve the entire area.

Now most of the storefronts are occupied, an organization called Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization is switching its focus on efforts to bring people to the district, which means putting more emphasis on events. One such event is the popular Oktoberfest, which drew 14,000 people last year, which is about the same as the city's population.

It's taken a lot of work and consensus to reach this point, and it's wonderful to see. Jackson residents have much pride in their city, and it is reflected in the care that has gone into the uptown area.

Congratulations to those who own property, run a business and those who otherwise are involved in the revitalization efforts.