Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Missouri capital redux.

Over the weekend, a blog article of mine prompted an interview from the city's local newspaper.  The original article, published here about a month ago, focused on the obvious revitalization efforts that have taken place in downtown Jefferson City, capital of Missouri.  Although I had never visited there prior to the trip that prompted the article, I was taken by the high level of maintenance of the city streets, the relative absence of demolished old buildings, and the considerable investment in the streetscape.  But most of all, I was taken by a Jimmy John's.
The presence of a national chain, particularly one as aggressively franchised as Jimmy John's subs, demonstrates a greater level of confidence in the viability of this main street as an attractive locus for commerce than all the plantings, park benches, and brick sidewalks in the world.  A predictable chain restaurant may not be what the Jefferson City's downtown boosters were craving, and it hardly indicates that the small city's main street is a major shopping destination, but at least it shows that it's strong enough that a business leader with some capital was willing to give a chance to some real estate as close to the center of it all as you can get.

This blog article recently prompted the Jefferson City News-Tribune to follow up on my article, interviewing me further about my impressions and including more of the history of revitalization than I ever knew coming into it.  I encourage my readers to take a look, and feel free as always to post comments here or wherever you like.  Thanks again.