Kennett downtown to get makeover

By Tyler Profilet - bio | email

KENNETT, MO (KFVS) - Mary Jo Byrd has been trying to sell her building in downtown Kennett for three years.

She says after meeting with other downtown business owners and discussing the revitalization project, she's going to stay and create her own business.

"After the meeting I got invigorated. I always hoped someone would buy this building and do something wonderful with it," she said.  "And after the meeting last night, I thought I can do something wonderful myself."

Sara Graves is the director of the project.  She says business owners used to resist changes to downtown, but says they're coming around.

"It's awesome to see that business owners, merchants, property owners, are actually coming together and willing to make some things happen after all these years," Graves said.

Graves says the first changes to downtown will be small.

Awnings will be taken down and sidewalks will be re paved.

But she says the bigger goal is to make downtown more appealing for both new businesses and new customers.

"People are going to come and that's going to increase the tax base, that's going to increase property value, and that's going to bring more money back to downtown," Graves said.

That's why Byrd says she's no longer selling her building and is instead going to see the revitalization project through.

"I hope it will be something really great. Not like the past, just something new. We have to reinvent," she said.

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