Groundbreaking for the new Villa Rica Welcome Center took place on July 17. The center will exist through renovating the former location of Butterball's Auto Repair shop at 121 W. Bankhead Highway/Montgomery Street at the edge of downtown. In addition to greeting those who are visiting the city, or new to the area, the building will also serve as a retail space for new businesses just getting off the ground.
The addition of a welcome center is just one part of an aggressive and broad master-plan to revitalize downtown Villa Rica. The plan also includes streetscape projects including "Gold Miner Plaza" which includes a statue of a gold miner, alley improvements, a park, cottages, and even a splash pad and possible skate park. A hotel, conference center and civic center are also being discussed.
The welcome center is projected to be open by the end of the year, barring any unforeseen delays. The groundbreaking takes place only a year after the structure was formally announced on June 13, 2016.
The goal of the program is to provide a well thought out blueprint for future growth that will make downtown a vibrant and enjoyable destination. The plan retains and preserves the historic heritage and architecture while creating a more appealing atmosphere. The new welcome center marks the first major project of the master plan, that is now underway.