Sylvania city leaders are looking to drive business downtown by revitalizing the area

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SYLVANIA, Ga. (WSAV) – City leaders in Sylvania want to help drive business downtown by re-vamping some storefronts and parts of the community. 

Mayor Preston Dees, said this process is starting by trying to revitalize the theater downtown once known as the Dixie Theater. It was a major source of entertainment decades ago for people in Screven County. 

Now, Dees said  the Downtown Development Authority has plans to restore it, rename it the Marquee on Main and turn it into something special again. 

“We’re trying to reestablish the Marquee on Main as a movie and venue. Not movies every day,  but every so often movies and a place where people can have plays, can have concerts, can have different venues of that nature,” Dees said. 

He added funding for this restoration would partly come from different fundraisers, such as a benefit concert happening this month at the Screven County High School.

However, Dees said working towards the theater transformation would just be the starting point to help revive the downtown and some of the other storefronts.

Right now he said the area is stagnant with only one new business opening recently. He said he hopes that changes. To foster this change the city council was presented with a proposal to help attract more businesses to the area.

 “In the downtown development package will be new businesses or if you’re established you bring two more jobs on into that business, and theres a certain incentive. Such as occupational fees, work, sewer, electrical base rates reduction. Alcohol licenses would be given to you on a break, for two years,” Dees said.

The mayor said he hopes these incentives will help give the area the economic boost it needs. 

 “If it’s an uptick, it helps the county, it helps the city,  it helps the residents gives them more options and things they can buy downtown,” Dees said.  

Dees also mentioned the incentives plan presented to city council will have its first reading on April 16th.

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