This area, adjacent to Southlake Mall, which many viewed as the next great attraction for visitors not only to Morrow but Clayton County and even the southside, remains an expensive eyesore two years after it was officially closed.
Although he knew the area had potential as a dining area and entertainment venue, Morrow Mayor JB Burke also knew a vision was needed and, since taking office, he has held numerous meetings about the area with potential investors and other interested parties.
“We have met with investors local and abroad and have stimulated renewed interest in Olde Town Morrow,” Burke said.
He added that discussions he has had concerning the area cover a wide range of possible uses, including an amusement park as well as beign a venue designed to promote tourism throughout Georgia.
The idea of revitalizing the area, Burke said, is not a new one.
“Discussions have included such initiatives as purchasing the Olde Macy’s space, tearing down the old Oldsmobile dealership and purchasing the old Waffle House,” Burke said.
.With Clayton County’s emergence as a movie and television film production venue, and the area already the site of numerous film productions, Burke is also looking into Olde Town Morrow as perhaps a possible movie set location, he said.
“Other ideas we have discussed include, but have not been limited to, it becoming something of a Morrow Market Place, a site for special events, a high tech video center and other possible uses,” Burke said.
However, despite what Burke called “excessive tax dollars being spent on Olde Town Morrow,” one of the major factors in its closing, which would have to be rectified, were the installation of the wrong type of fire extinguishers in structures on the property.
Although the establishment of Olde Town Morrow would have been a boost to the city and Clayton County, many had also seen it as giving a much needed boost to Southlake Mall, Clayton County’s main shopping center complex.
“Many folks may not know that there is actually a lake or pond between Olde Town Morrow and Mt. Zion,” Burke said.
“There has been talk of using the lake itself as an attraction, perhaps making it more visitor-friendly by putting paddle boats on the lake itself or boutique shops and restaurants along the edge,” Burke added.
The mayor emphasized that “things looked bleak” when Olde Town Morrow closed down.
“However, any decision we make on Olde Town Morrow has to be the right decision for its future,” Burke said.
The mayor emphasized the area has not been forgotten by the city.
“We are looking at every angle to try and revitalize the area so that it will not only attract visitors but be a site our residents would be proud to show to visiting family members,” Burke said.