Sticker campaign promotes possibilities

Sara Amick places a sticker on the window of a vacant downtown storefront.

Sara Amick places a sticker on the window of a vacant downtown storefront.

At least two currently vacant buildings have been decorated with stickers on the front windows, asking the community what they want to see move in.

Stephanie Bell said the stickers, which say “I wish this was” and leave a space for people to write in what they want to see in the building, are part of a Downtown Association initiative to help promote the Hidden Spaces, Secret Places tour, scheduled for May 19.

Bell said the stickers were put up Wednesday. The idea came from the Internet, she said, where another person had started a similar campaign as an art project.

“It was kind of inspiring,” Bell said.

She said the stickers will be placed in various spots on the Hidden Spaces, Secret Places tour for those attending to take part and put down what they want to see in their community.

Bell said the stickers are placed on the vacant buildings with full permission from the property owners. The goal is to get people excited about the possibilities of each space, she said.

Stickers have been placed on the front of a vacant building at 118 E. High St., which in the past has been discussed as a possible walk-through for a new parking garage by city officials.

The idea of a walk-through, or pass through, was part of the failed Transformation sales tax campaign. The campaign had detailed a list of 30 projects with a total price tag of $40.9 million that it would have sought to complete with the sales tax funds.

One such project was a nearly $7 million project listed that would have constructed a new parking structure in the Hawthorn Bank lot behind the 100 block of High Street. The structure would have been five stories and 440 spaces with a grade access to High Street, and would have created a pass through on the south side of the 100 block of High Street with public restrooms.

When the idea was discussed in Transformation, the building at 118 E. High St. was proposed as the location of the pass through. But since the campaign failed, there has been no public discussion of a new garage or walk-through.

The City Council held a closed session meeting for real estate at the building Tuesday. No actions were taken during the meeting, and the building currently is owned by Central Bank.

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Carrie Carroll said the building is a great spot to access the available parking behind High Street businesses, even without a garage there, and she hopes to see it happen. Carroll said using the building as a walk-through shouldn’t preclude a business from renting the space either, that both could easily work in the same spot.

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