PRA marketing empty buildings in Paducah
PADUCAH, Ky. - Standing behind the counter at Lela's Boutique, Jessiann McCarthy points out a worn spot on the floor.
"It's worn right here from where I stood," she said.
That's how busy things once were at the women's clothing boutique on Broadway. But when the recession hit, McCarthy was forced to close her doors.
Two years later, the building still sits empty, "It was a dream gone. It was this building I had worked so hard on, not only could I not use it, now no one else wanted it either."
But she says, in the past week, things picked up, "Someone looked at it last Sunday and someone else came to look at it Friday."
Paducah Renaissance Alliance, desperate to change the downtown landscape, is doing what they can to market dozens of empty buildings like McCarthy's. It's being done through their website and Facebook page.
PRA Director Lisa Thompson tells Local 6 the group is also considering tweaking the city's incentive package and using budget and grant dollars to create upper story living in some of those vacant buildings.
"It can be a little discouraging," she admitted of the job ahead.
But she said, Paducah needs to be ready when investors call so people and properties can be easily matched.
"We need to know what's available, what properties are move-in ready, what properties need improvements," she explained.
Jessiann McCarthy's shop is ready and so is she, "For the first time, I'm hopeful about selling this property."
PRA currently has 23 residential properties and 21 commercial properties listed on their website, and more recently their Facebook page.
While they have helped with a few sales, the majority of PRA's successes, about 6, have been leases.