City Should Take What Lakewood Didn’t Want

An adult novelty store won’t be coming to Lakewood after all.

Whatever one’s thoughts about adult-oriented stores, Jill Laemmerhirt’s proposal was tasteful. The windows of the Lakewood location were to be covered so no one could see into the store from the outside. The only signs on the windows of the business would have been the name of the shop and another listing the hours of operation. Customers would have been carded at the store’s entrance to make sure they were old enough to enter the sex-related retail store.

We don’t know what happened in the less than seven days it took for the Lakewood Planning Board to approve the matter and for news to surface that the idea had been shelved. Since the Lakewood Village Board is proposing a moratorium on adult-themed businesses, it doesn’t appear Laemmerhirt’s shop is opening anytime soon in Lakewood.

The fact Laemmerhirt went to Lakewood first isn’t a surprise, but it should be a signal to Jamestown officials that more work has to be done to make downtown a favored destination for niche shops. The first step in that work should be working to bring Laemmerhirt’s shop downtown.

We’re not suggesting creation of a red-light district downtown. There aren’t many adult-oriented shops that would fit the image downtown Jamestown is trying to project, but Laemmerhirt’s proposal isn’t your typical, run-of-the-mill sex shop, either. There are more than a few vacant storefronts that could benefit from a new tenant. Downtown can use all the new businesses it can get.

City development officials should reach out to the owner about bringing the shop to Jamestown. What better way is there to show small business owners that downtown Jamestown is open for business?