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Decatur Downtown Development Authority signs lease agreement for retail incubator program

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Decatur Downtown Development Authority signs lease agreement for retail incubator program

The Decatur retail recruitment incubator program will be hosted in the former Feather Baby retail space in downtown Decatur. Photo is from Google Maps.

Decatur, GA — Decatur’s retail incubator program will soon have a space in downtown Decatur that will serve as a pop-up space or shared co-op spaces. The program will be moving into the former Feather Baby store, 431 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., which is next to Fleet Feet Decatur and Dancing Goats Decatur.

The Decatur Downtown Development Authority created the retail recruitment incubator program and appointed members to its selection and advisory committee at the July 9 board meeting.

Downtown Program Manager Shirley Baylis presented the program to the DDA at the June 11 meeting, and the board approved $25,000 to fund the program. The retail recruitment incubator program will give the city an opportunity to provide a brick-and-mortar space for homegrown businesses to set up a pop-up shop and be in a co-op space, she previously said.

“The proposed retail recruitment incubator program is designed to focus on increasing retail and restaurant offerings in downtown Decatur,” Baylis said at the June meeting. “The program is designed for entrepreneurs that wish to grow their existing business from an online, festival, expo or similar setting into a brick and mortar location in downtown.”

During the Sept. 10 meeting, Baylis requested an additional $6,000 to provide training and cover additional costs of the lease. The DDA signed a 12-month lease but initially looked at a shorter term lease and had allocated $12,500 to pay for half the lease. But an additional $3,500 was needed to secure the 12-month lease.

The DDA will now budget $16,000 for the lease. The lease start date is Oct. 1 and the goal is to have the space open by Oct. 15, Baylis said. She added the business selected will be notified this week about participating in the program.

In the initial budget for the program, Baylis did not include funding for training.

“In looking at it, we feel that we want to have some professional trainers come in and there’s a cost that is with that, and so I ask for an additional $2,500 for training, which brings the total now up to $31,000,” Baylis said.

The Decatur DDA will meet again on Friday, Oct. 8 at 8 a.m. at City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street.

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