In its heyday, the Phenix Plaza Shopping Center could rival some of the best in the area. But over time, stores have closed and the buildings are empty. That won't be the case for long.
"The next 6-8 months we will be doing a lot of planning on that determining if and when we will tear down parts and rebuild parts or retrofit parts or put a [rooftop] on the building, we just have to study that in the next 6-8 months" Mat Swift said.
President Mat Smith of the W. C. Bradley, the company that bought the shopping center for $4.4 million, says his team is looking forward to revamping Phenix Plaza.
The 100,000 square foot shopping complex is expected to house a number of retailers and be managed by the Woodruff Company. One of the first tenants to go in the plaza will be Whitewater Outfitter Whitewater Express. It's their first time in an area like the Chattahoochee Valley.
"We are out in the middle of nowhere, there is nothing around us and this is the first opportunity we've had to operate in river that is in the center of two cities" Dan Gilbert said.
Whitewater Express is expected to open in Phenix Plaza within the next 6 months and send their first raft down the river June 1.
Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe remembers when the shopping center was built. He says that was at a time when the city was making great strides to change things for the better. Lowe says its time for a change once again.
"Great opportunity and when you have a partner like the WC Bradley Company, I mean great leadership strong vision for the community its just a great time in Phenix City," Swift said.
This comes on the heels of several other projects starting on the Phenix City side of the river. A new campus for Troy University is being built as well as a new hotel.
"Both sides of the river are very important are very crucial to the longtime development plans for the riverfront, and with the Whitewater project coming on having a very vibrant on both sides of the river is very important."
The whitewater rafting course is expected to be finished later this year.
1720 Valley View Drive