Gray Development Authority eyeing train depot to anchor revitalization efforts

GRAY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Downtown Development Authority in Gray is taking steps to renovate areas in the city.

Officials recently signed a lease to take over a historic train depot. One of the board members says the move is the beginning to a much bigger vision.

“We want to stop the decay of the building, and bring it back up before it’s too late,” Bert King, one of the board members said.

If you drive passed it, chances are you’d miss it.

Gray residents call the old train depot in the city a piece of history.

Time, weather, and even a fire have worn down the building, but King believes there’s still character and potential with the space.

“At this point we cannot renovate, rehab, refurbish this building, but we have it leased until we can find a location,” King said.

He says they’ve leased it from Norfolk Southern, a train company.

The lease doesn’t allow the city to touch the building, but with it…no one else can use it either.

The Downtown Development Authority’s goal isn’t to use the space where the train depot is.

They want to move the building to another location in the city, renovate it, and then make it into a big attraction for the city to use.

“We want to turn this into a visitors’ center, community use center, and also possibly some city offices,” King said.

King says the vision is to keep the building near the tracks, so as people drive by, the structure will still give off a train depot feel.

“We would like for the railroad tracks to be visible from the building to keep the sense of it being the depot because for many, many years it was a functioning depot,” King said.

The structure hasn’t been used for decades, and board members want to change that around.

“…and then renovate it up to code, and use it on a daily basis,” he said.

The move would be a transformation, and King believes it would be a cornerstone for the city.

Categories: Local News

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