The Blue Mile to bring new retail district to downtown Statesboro

Brett Daniel

Josh Whitfield, co-owner of Whitfield Signs, says he’s working closely with the city, county and Blue Mile Committee to commission a new retail district in downtown Statesboro, according to a recent article in the Statesboro Herald.

Upon completion, the West District will be able to house retail businesses, office space and loft apartments. Additionally, the project will create 100 new jobs in the heart of downtown Statesboro, according to a post on The Blue Mile’s Facebook page.

The project broke ground the first week of November, and the first phase will be completed within the next 90-120 days, said Kim Brannen, senior vice president at Sea Island Bank in Statesboro, which is helping to finance the project.

Darron Burnette, chairman of The Blue Mile’s Business Retention and Recruitment Committee, said the West District will evoke a feeling similar to the first time a person experiences Main Street, U.S.A. at Disney World.

“There’s been a big trend in larger cities where people are wanting to live back downtown, where they can shop and work and live and have entertainment all within their footsteps,” Burnette said. “We hope to create that same kind of energy here.”

Chattanooga, Tennessee is another one of Whitfield’s inspirations for the project, Brannen said.

She also said the project will see the construction of 40-50 new parking spaces in the downtown area as well, in addition to the spots potential businesses will create.

“This is quite a large investment,” Brannen said. “I just appreciate Josh’s belief in our community. I can’t wait to see the West District come to fruition.”

Burnette concluded by saying the West District is just one of many projects that will make downtown Statesboro a better, more exciting place to be.