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Demolition Leads to New Jobs

By Meghan Pinkley
By mpinkley@wbbjtv.com

A piece of Martin history was demolished, but what is now rubble will soon be a booming business, that promises to create jobs.

The owner of Savant Learning Systems has agreed to purchase the recently vacant lot to expand his business that has already brought life to six other downtown Martin buildings. City officials said their downtown was being re-shaped.

Community members and many residents said it was nice to see the eyesore finally torn down.

Bubba Kelly said his wife had high hopes of utilizing the old dry cleaning buildings to start her own business, but the dream faded once they purchased the old buildings a few months ago.

"The buildings were in very bad condition. The majority of the roof had caved in," said Kelly.

On Tuesday, the historic buildings were demolished after orders from the city inspector, but Kelly said good would come from the property.

"The plan is Savant has agreed to purchase the property, and we have agreed to build the building back," said Kelly.

According to Savant Learning System employees, the company was already utilizing five other buildings downtown for their on line education programs. Employees said once construction is underway, they have job positions needing to be filled.

"He (the owner of Savant) has done a lot for the city of Martin and created a lot of jobs, not only bringing jobs here, but also for the local people such as myself," added Kelly.

Martin Mayor Randy Brundige has noticed what Savant and other businesses have done for historic downtown Martin.

"It's just changed the whole scenery for our downtown area. It's a different scenery from old downtowns where you don't have the mom and pop businesses, it's a different kind of business atmosphere," said Mayor Brundige.

Kelly added that once Savant officially buys the property, he hopes it will only be a few months until construction on the new buildings get started.

"Something that the community can be proud of and say 'This is my downtown,'" said Mayor Brundige.

City officials said since 2003, Martin has tried to revitalize the whole downtown area, and said now, it's really beginning to take shape.

7 Eyewitness News will continue to follow the progress of Savant's building process and notify residents when jobs will become available.