The Blue Mile: What’s new and what’s to come

The+Blue+Mile%3A+What%27s+new+and+what%27s+to+come

Fernanda Camacho Hauser, Correspondent

Most students who have ventured from campus to the downtown Statesboro area might have noticed the large sign announcing your arrival to the Blue Mile.

We had the opportunity to speak with Keely Fennell, the president of the Blue Mile Foundation, to speak about what the long term plan is as well as some of the changes that have already been made and that we can look forward to when we return for the Fall 2021 semester.

Big Picture:

The goal with the Blue Mile project is to revitalize the Blue Mile and the surrounding areas through five focal points: housing, parks, arts, infrastructure, and economic development. These points helped the Blue Mile project win 1 million dollars in 2019 in America’s Best Community competition which is being put to finance the changes going on in the downtown area.

So far there have been additions in the form of housing units that have been built and the adoption of the GICH (Georgia Initiative for Community Housing) program which aids with low income housing. This ensures that the revitalization efforts are accessible to all.

In the area of parks the existing parks are being spruced up as needed. As well as the plan for a new park near South College Street behind the Village at Midtown which would have the man made lake reservoir.

The addition of the reservoir and the creek on the blue mile would help with the flooding that affects the area which would also work to help improve the infrastructure of the downtown area.

Blue Mile Coming Soon and Already Here:

Some of the changes that you can already see is the addition of the Holiday in which will be the only hotel on the creek of the Blue Mile. The lot had previously been the Baymont in and has already increased the revenue of the area. 

The empty establishment whose parking lot which had been empty for the last 40 years and had played host to the Greenman Corner is in the process of being turned into a brand new Dolan’s bbq and Honey too partnership. Greenman’s Corner has relocated on the corner of North Main and Northside Drive 

The area where the University Wingz, which closed down earlier this year, is now playing host to a snow cone location as well as another snow cone location across the street where the light in the attic was previously located.

This June will also see the start of the streetscaping project which will aid with the drainage issue as well as making the area more pedestrian friendly.