The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Opinion

June 22, 2014

Scott Underwood: Building up Anderson's downtown

Through an office window, I've watched across the street as the project to turn the upper floors of the Anderson YMCA into apartments for seniors has progressed.

A seemingly infinite amount of drywall, tiles and other old materials has been dropped out of the windows and through long tubes into industrial-sized trash trailers.

If I wheel my chair back from my desk and look out another window, I can see the front of the Y building, where new drywall and other materials are hoisted by a mechanized lift to the windows of the upper floors.

I can't see it from my office, but just to the north of the newspaper building (we're at the intersection of Jackson and 12th), the towering Tower Place apartment building is also undergoing renovation.

The new owners of the structure say they will pour about $450,000 into making it a good place to live. Among other changes, a geothermal heating system has been installed and an advanced security system is planned.

The renovations of the Y and the Tower Place are signs of positive change in the downtown. Of course, the area has had its share of recent setbacks, too.

A wall of an old building in the 700 block of Meridian Street collapsed this month, and the building will have to be torn down, disrupting commerce in the immediate vicinity.

Some might argue that the wall collapse is actually a positive development, since it forced the city to take action to demolish the structure.

Despite the problem on Meridian, downtown seems to have come alive a little more this spring than in the recent past.

This month, Anderson Black Expo, for the first time, conducted most of its events in and around Dickmann Park. There's a parade coming up July 3, and the city's Food Truckin' Thursdays program has attracted hundreds for lunch.

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