Begin Programming Downtown To Entice Developers

Roughly 100 people attended the first of four community engagement events organized by Mayor-elect Eddie Sundquist’s transition team.

Kudos to all those who attended, including several City Council members. The sessions continue today with a forum on economic and business development, housing and public safety at Washington Middle School, financial stability on Wednesday at Persell Middle School and city operations and human resources on Dec. 17 at Jamestown High School. We hope the audience is as large and as engaged for these next three meetings as they were for the first.

Speaking of last week’s community engagement session, we hope a concept shared by Marty Schwab, owner of The Beer Snob, comes to fruition as the new administration takes office. Schwab noted that one way to help downtown businesses deal with the ebb and flow of the local economy is the creation of intentional seasonal events to drive economic impact.

“One way us downtown businesses could benefit a little more is in a couple of ways, one being embracing the seasons,” Schwab said. “Perhaps putting together a winter festival. I know Eddie you and I talked about Montreal but on a smaller scale. Not just embracing the summer, but embracing the seasons all year round.”

What Schwab says makes sense. There was a time when Jamestown was known for its festivals, and while not all of the festivals generated the desired impact there was a lot of effort put into at least trying to draw people downtown. Perhaps the right festivals and the right programs can create improved vitality on a more regular basis. There has been a lot of building downtown over the years. Now it’s time to begin programming downtown to draw people into those buildings and perhaps entice new developers to fill more of the blank spots on downtown’s canvass.