Progress at Peacock Alley: One year later - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Progress at Peacock Alley: One year later

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DALTON, GA (WRCB) -- It's been a little more than a year since part of historical downtown Dalton burned to the ground. Last October, several businesses inside Peacock Alley went up in flames.

On October 9, 2011 flames ripped through all eight businesses inside of Peacock Alley on Hamilton Street in Dalton.

"We could just see the smoke and of course the flames," says Dana Bragg.

Bragg works at a salon across the street from Peacock Alley.

She says it was heartbreaking seeing the one hundred year old building burn. Firefighters faced the challenges of an intense fire and water pressure issues.

"We were hoping that they could get it our sooner, so that the people that owned the businesses would not be jobless," she says.

Now, a little more than a year later, sits the cleaned-out, empty shell.

Many of the businesses inside have relocated or expanded.

"They've had to go and relocate because it's been a timely thing to get up and going again," says Bragg.

"The owners of the building are looking at a lot of options for the use of the space," says Veronica French.

French is the Director of the Downtown Dalton Development Authority and says progress is being made on re-vitalizing the building.

"They're starting to clean the facade and replace the glass and the frames where the windows were," says French.

The owner of the building, John Davis, tells us the options are endless for the 14,000 square feet of space.

The restaurant portion is being renovated with the hopes of another restaurant tenant.

Davis is also waiting for what he calls a 'game-changer' tenant that will anchor the space. He is also considering the option of double the space, making it two stories. He says it all depends on who moves in. He says he has had a few nibbles, but nothing is lined up just yet.

"I hope they rebuild it and people can go back to work," says Bragg.

Davis says in the meantime, the space will be converted into an open-air venue for weddings and other special events.

He hopes to have that up and running by the first of the year.

An official cause of the fire was never determined, but fire officials say it did not seem suspicious.

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