FCDP’s “Traction Square” Sparks New Neighborhood Vision
A fringe area in Fairmont’s downtown is finding clear, harmonious direction and beginning to rejuvenate itself. The Southside Neighbhorhood, adjacent to Downtown Fairmont, is a mixed commercial and residential neighborhood that in the past suffered from long-time uncertainty regarding it’s identity and direction.
This nine block area (Walnut to Virginia Avenue, and First to Third
Street) had been an outwardly mismatched array of property types and
conditions. The extremes extended from the well kept to the unsafe;
from well preserved historic homes to the un-occupied blighted
structures; and from light industrial operations to private
homeownership. However, with the development of Traction Square, a
positive residential and business climate has caught the community's
The Traction Square Project did not begin with a master plan concept, but instead began to "un-fold" as redevelopment opportunities were presented. The next phase of the development of Traction Square is the YMCA Building revitalization. This building was purchased by the FCDP in 2009, has received a new "green" roof, and has been cleared of debris. Full renovation plans for the YMCA Building are currently underway. It is likely that the revitalization of the Southside Neighborhood will not end with the YMCA Building project, but will continue as more development opportunities are presented.