I hear the following question SO often over the course of a given month: “Is Downtown Salisbury really going to turn around this time?”
My stock answer is always short and to the point: “It absolutely will, and what’s going on is real, and it’s not stopping.”
The people who ask me this question tend to fall into one of two categories. The first? Well, let’s call them the skeptics. These are the folks who have witnessed over the last 30 years so many consultant’s reports, re-development plans, and quixotic ideas that they’re simply incapable of believing that REAL things can ever happen.
To a certain degree, I get it. Crying wolf takes its toll after all.
The second group? Let’s call them the “suburban-ites” – the younger crowd who lives just outside the city limits, shops and eats at the north end, and spends countless hours a week shuttling their kids to and from the endless activities that now make up the life of an adolescent – all the while driving through and around Downtown Salisbury, treating it like the island it has become – while NEVER considering what might actually be down there, and rarely visiting it. (I literally had one of these “suburban-ites” text me a few weeks ago to let me know that she was downtown with her kids for the first time EVER….and she felt lost!”)
So … to all of them, and all of you, let me say again: What’s happening in and around downtown Salisbury is REAL. There is no turning back. The commitment from the entrepreneurs and energized talent of 30-somethings is real; the commitment from the city leaders of Salisbury is real; the new restaurants that have opened, and that soon will open (do you know that there are three – count ‘em three! – new restaurants in the works right across from the courthouse downtown?) are real. It’s not by accident.
The old firehouse, the coolest building downtown, is set to open as something Joey and Chris Gilkerson, and Brad Gillis – its owners – are calling “Headquarters LIVE” – a venue that will feature small concerts, and a bar, and perhaps a micro-brew.
Check it out on above on YouTube or at www.joeygilkerson.com.
The City Park – like downtown, one of our true gems – has money in the budget (the one that starts in July) for a designer and consultant to come and do a master plan – and take input from us on making our park be all it can be.
Don’t be a skeptic. That’s too easy. Dare to think big. And embrace what’s coming!
One Salisbury thinks that’s the only way forward!
Mike Dunn operates the One Salisbury website at www.onesalisbury.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.