Arsenal Place is just what Selma needs

Published 10:45pm Thursday, April 10, 2014

A person can have one of three outlooks on life at anytime: they can be ambivalent to the world around them, they can see the worst in the world around them, or they can see the best in the world around them.

Walking through the hallways at the Arsenal Place Accelerator during its open house last week, it was plain to see everyone involved in that project is of the third disposition.

And they have every reason to be so optimistic.

The business accelerator, located at 900 Alabama Ave. in downtown Selma, won’t just be the home for new businesses in the city; it can be the launch pad for our city as we work toward a better future.

The highlight of my time at the Accelerator was a few moments spent walking with District Judge Bob Armstrong.

Armstrong’s son Robert owns Selma Good, a baking company that is one of the first tenants to move in to the accelerator, and Armstrong did speak briefly about what the building would mean for that business.

But he spoke in great detail — and with great optimism — about what this building would mean for Selma.

Looking over the extensive renovations that had been made to the building and the empty spaces that would soon be home to a half dozen locally-grown businesses, Armstrong beamed with nothing but excitement.

“It’s this cool,” he repeated around nearly every corner.

To the untrained eye, the rear section of the building is currently vacant, but to Armstrong, it had just received a new roof and a fresh coat of paint and was just weeks away from being the starting point for several local businesses.

We need that vision. We need that excitement. Not just in business, but in everything we do.

During his day, Judge Armstrong looks out from his bench and looks into the eyes of people who are living in some of the toughest situations, and he still hopes.

He hears details of crimes that would make most people cringe, and he still hopes.

He still hopes and believes, as we all should, that Selma is on the doorstep of a great future.

The accelerator won’t solve all of our problems, but it’s this hardworking and optimistic approach Armstrong shares with everyone involved in the Arsenal Place project that will make that better future possible.

I can’t wait for the day where the businesses getting their start in the accelerator can turn the key to a brick and mortar location somewhere in Selma.

That day won’t just be monumental for the business and its employees, it will just as important for all of us.

Selma’s bright future is closer than you might think, and it will only become a reality if the community rallies behind the Arsenal Place Accelerator and the businesses getting their start there.


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