The area around South Boulevard in Montgomery is often thought of as run-down and dangerous.
Exactly one year ago, Alabama News Network spoke with councilman CC Calhoun about his plans to restore that area. Now, we travel back to see if changes have been made.
When Councilman David Burkette took over as representative of South Boulevard late last year, he says he knew cleaning up the area would be a challenge. Burkette tells us little by little he is working to improve the boulevard and has started by tearing down vacant buildings near Interstate 65.
"We picked this particular area here because it is a busy intersection and you know, we have a lot of buildings that are dilapidated and they're unsafe," he says.
This year, several abandoned buildings have been demolished, including the Peddler's Inn Hotel and the Good Night's Inn Motel. There are many other vacant properties Burkette says he has his eye on, including the Speedy Gas Station, another service station, the Paradise Bar and Grill and a hotel that is currently not legally open.
One year ago Alabama News Network spoke with Shannon Jink who owns an RV business on South Boulevard. At the time, she told us she was frustrated with her surroundings. Now, she tells us she's happy something is being done to improve the area.
"It's a lot of progress in this area," says Jink. "We're so excited about what the councilman has been able to get accomplished in this area. A lot of buildings were run down and to see the empty lots now instead of the run-down buildings, it's quite an accomplishment for this side of town."
Crime and prostitution have long been a problem in the area but Burkette tells says he believes things are starting to change.
"Yes, it's still a problem but it's not a major problem as it was in years' past," he explains. "We still have three more serious buildings that we've got to demolish and I think that's going to help tremendously when it comes to prostitution."