Efforts to revitalize downtown Menomonie get a closer look - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Efforts to revitalize downtown Menomonie get a closer look

Menomonie (WQOW) - A new study could help efforts to boost interest in an area downtown. 

Last spring, the Redevelopment Steering Group formed in Menomonie to explore ways to strengthen business in the downtown and improve its image.  A study was done to put the group on the right path.  The study was recently completed. 

As the owner of Bookends on Main in Menomonie, Susan Thurin says there have been several attempts to study the downtown. 

"We've had a lot of reports now, a lot of detail, but in action, so I'm waiting for something to happen," says Susan Thurin, Bookends on Main owner. 

A presentation was held on Thursday to discuss the results.  Thurin says the recent attempt is more informative than past efforts.  The report, which was done by McComb Group, LTD looked at sales potentials for downtown, who shops there and retail vacancy, which is around eight percent downtown. 

"You see one empty store front and you think there's nothing going on down here, but the vacancy percent downtown is less than it is in north Menomonie," says Thurin. 

Jim McComb, who gave Thursday's presentation, says the available space is a plus for the community. 

"The downtown area is relatively compact, there's a nice building stock," says Jim McComb, McComb Group, LTD President. 

However, McComb says there are some area's the city could improve. 

"Parking, creating more attractions for downtown, maintaining what downtown has today and not losing businesses to other parts of town," says McComb. 

City council member Ed Smith says the information will help the city and businesses move forward in the same direction. 

"It's not the role of the City Council to enter into private ventures, but we certainly can support those who do choose to do that," says Ed Smith, Menomonie City Council President. 

Members of the steering group include the City of Menomonie, Dunn County and UW-Stout.

Powered by Frankly