PICKENS—The City of Pickens is currently working on several development and entertainment projects for the downtown area and Main Street.
Development projects like the Façade Grant Program and downtown amphitheatre are intended to not only enhance the downtown area, but are also intended to revitalize it as a meeting place for both visitors and the residents of Pickens.
The Façade Grant Program will supply financial support for business and commercial property owners along Main Street in downtown.
Bivens Hardware has been serving the city of Pickens since the 1920s and is located on Main Street.
Bivens Hardware co-owner, Robert Bobo, says he is excited about the improvements being made to downtown Pickens, but he does have some concerns.
“The problem with the amphitheatre is that it is after hours, we are not here when all of that will be going on. “They are not going to buy plumbing and electrical when they are here to see a play at the amphitheatre,” said Bobo. “If I were a restaurant or a bar, then sure, it would help me. However, it does help in showing off the town, but it does not benefit me directly because I will get no walk-in business from whoever is at the amphitheatre.”
Bobo did express his support for the city government and projects such as the Façade Grant Program, but did not see the value of an entertainment project like the amphitheatre taking place before certain infrastructure problems had been solved.
City-wide parking and unpainted water towers are some of the key issues taking precedence over an entertainment project for Bivens Hardware.
“Our customers are from Pickens, when their pipes burst, they come here, and we need to worry about the people from this town. People coming in and out of town, that’s great, but let’s get the parking and the Façade Grant Program first,” said Bivens Employee Heath Fields. “However, if the finances are there to handle both entertainment and infrastructure issues at the same time, then I am all for it.”