Rick Paler was appointed the first director of the Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority in November, 2007, after previously serving as a member of the board. Paler, along with the authority's board members, is charged with the task of implementing the Envision Decatur Plan and providing continuity for downtown projects through changing administrations.
As the director of the Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Paler is involved in nearly every aspect of the planning, promotion and funding of downtown redevelopment projects. He is a liaison between city and county offices, an advocate of downtown Decatur to state and federal elected officials, and a promoter of the area to potential developers.
In support of existing businesses located in the downtown area, Paler works closely with the newly-founded Decatur Downtown Merchant's and Business Association (DDMBA), downtown property owners and merchants. He brings together local citizens, corporations and business owners, encouraging them to become active partners in the redevelopment and promotion of downtown Decatur.
With nearly 30 years of commercial development experience and having redeveloped four buildings in downtown Decatur, Paler is not a stranger to the challenges of developing property. He has been involved in numerous real estate development projects in Decatur, Priceville, Huntsville and Madison. Additionally, Paler has experience as a business owner, having owned and operated a successful restaurant in the Huntsville area. Paler's previous experience includes all facets of property development, including concept, construction and financing.
Paler is a graduate of the University of Alabama. He has lived and worked in Alabama all of his life, and has lived in Decatur since 1979.
Note from the Director:
Our goal and mission is to revitalize Decatur's downtown area. We are accomplishing this by promoting new uses for existing buildings and land, and encouraging new development. We are working closely with city and county government, the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, Decatur Downtown Merchant's and Business Association and local citizens, leaders and business owners, as well as reaching out to government representatives and potential developers from Alabama and throughout the Southeast. We are four and a half years into our first 5 year strategic plan and have surpassed many of the goals we set to achieve. To date, in the downtown, this plan has seen the creation of 451 new jobs, over $10 million in annual payroll, $23 million in capital investment and a net increase of 65 new businesses. We have developed our second 5 year plan covering 2015 through 2019 and are presently moving forward with our capital campaign in order to achieve its success. The DDRA has taken the challenge of taking our community's vision for a better downtown and we are turning it into reality.