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Downtown: hotbed of entrepreneurship

Downtown provides a cost-effective and scalable location for businesses to start and grow. Not only were downtowns the first live/work communities (a cost- and time-saving advantage that many entrepreneurs still take advantage of), but historic buildings also offer passive income potential in the form of rental of upper floor spaces, as well as future expansion opportunities. Read More

2017-12-21T02:13:41-06:00June 6, 2017|Preservation, Small Business|

Effective design review in historic commercial districts

As most of us who deal with downtown and community development know, it is the historic character of the central commercial district that sets one neighborhood or community apart from others. That visual appearance and character affects what people think about the entire area, and can aid in business recruitment and retention, and make it attractive for people to invest, spend time, or even live in the district. Preserving that character, however, doesn’t happen on its own. Communities of all sizes have enacted local tools to aid in protecting this irreplaceable asset. Things like historic preservation ordinances, landmark or preservation commissions, financial incentives, design guidelines, and design review are all common and effective tools. Read More

2017-12-21T02:15:03-06:00May 22, 2017|Local Ordinances, Places, Preservation|

Adaptive reuse success story

When the Chippewa River Distillery/Brewster Bros Brewing Co. was searching for a downtown location for their new facility, Carol and Jim Stirn saw potential in the riverfront site at 402 W River Street, despite the limitations of the existing concrete block former auto service center. The project involved gutting the buildings to the walls, installing

2017-12-21T02:18:07-06:00April 24, 2017|Places, Preservation, Small Business|
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