One big donation!
POSTED: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 6:23pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 7:27pm
TYLER-The east side of the square has been an eyesore in downtown Tyler ever since it caught fire back in February 2009. But that may all soon change thanks to a generous donation from one local grocery store.
Downtown Tyler hasn’t been the same since a massive blaze gutted these historic buildings on February 2, 2009.
Ever since, these metal fences have blocked off the area and have been to say the least, an eyesore for those who have had to look at them for more than a year now.
But now signs of life are pumping through downtown, thanks to a generous donation from a company who says 113 Spring Avenue is where it all began.
"Part of the site that was burned was the first Brookeshire's store that opened on September 1, 1928," Sam Anderson of Brookeshire's said. "So this location has historical significance to us."
The Brookeshire's Grocery Company presented Smith County Commissioners Monday with a donation of $300,000 to help the county move forward in their clean-up efforts.
"In this tough economic time, with our budget shortfall, this is something we would not be able to do without that gift," Smith County Judge Joel Baker said.
Smith County Commissioners say the donation will be used to create an open plaza along with possible future courts facilities.
"Its something we've wanted for so long and up until now the only alternative would have been just to tear everything down, but now we're really able to do something good with the site," Judge Baker said.
And Mr. Anderson says Brookeshire's could go back to their roots and once again take back one of these buildings.
"We're going some preliminary market research on the feasibility of putting in some kind of retail establishment downtown," Anderson said.
Work on this site is scheduled to begin in the next couple of weeks. Completion is scheduled for sometime in September.
And as far as Brookeshire's coming back downtown, company executives tell us they expect to make an announcement on the potential store sometime in the next few months.