Tepper’s buy could jump start progress

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 2, 2006

This week, a Colorado nonprofit organization

purchased the Tepper’s building, and plans to announce a $1.5 million purchase and renovation project executives said will return the building to its place of prominence.

Officials with the Freedom Foundation in Parker, Colo., said they have preliminary architectural drawings and plans that include an atrium atop the four-story building. It is the tallest building in the downtown area, located on Broad Street at Alabama Avenue.

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Over the years, Selma residents have heard about possible development, and various plans to restore downtown.

Some of those promises were made good on – such as the St. James restoration. The National Park Service’s plan to open an Interpretive Center in downtown is still in the works.

Other promises, however, failed to deliver, and that has some residents guarded about the plans for the Tepper’s building.

We are optimistic that if the building is developed as planned, it will serve as a catalyst for other renovation and restoration downtown – a move that could prepare Selma to be a first class tourist destination.

Thus far, the Freedom Foundation has helped repair the roof of the National Voting Rights Museum, and has purchased a house in Old Town.

We have no reason to doubt that the next step will be to restore the Tepper’s building. And we welcome any effort that will help Selma.