D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - "D'Iberville has helped us by putting a new face on our building," says Sykes Haney.
Sykes Haney was able to give his downtown business, Haney's Pawn Shop, a much needed facelift through a new $500,000 facade grant program. Haney and his wife Pam own the pawn shop. It is the first business to participate in the downtown facade grant program funded through the Mississippi Development Authority.
"We feel like it'll be real appealing to the public because everything will be clean and nice, and the traffic's not near as bad here," Pam Haney says.
Haney is referring to all the traffic and attention that's been focused on the Promenade, the city's newest retail development located further north off I-10. But, Mayor Rusty Quave says the city can't afford to turn it's back on mix-use development further south in the city's downtown area.
"This is going to remain a business district that will keep going forever and ever," says Quave.
In addition to the façade grant program, the city plans to widen Central Avenue to include a turning lane and sidewalks. The idea is to make downtown a more walkable and welcoming place to visit.
"I hope just being clean looking and new and the attractiveness of it will bring people in," Sykes Haney says.
After more than 25 years of business, the Haneys say the new look will help their business continue to be a permanent fixture in the downtown business district.
"We've built up a good relationship with all of our customers, and we couldn't bear the thought of leaving them. So this is where we'll be. This is our home."