As I was driving thru the downtown later this afternoon, I was turning west on State Street from the corner of Federal. The west sun was shining on the yellow bricks of the Park Inn Hotel causing the building to have somewhat of a golden glow. I was thinking about all the recent changes within the downtown. For example, the extensive Park Inn restoration as well as the Federal Avenue Streetscape Project, not to mention the Chamber of Commerce Center. In just over one year, I have noticed a real change in businesses wanting to do business in the central business district. Just three years ago, there were far too many empty stores in the district. Now there are far fewer vacancies than I would have expected in such a short period of time.
In visiting with the new director of Main Street Mason City several days ago, I found that she has a real passion for getting more and better things accomplished within the Central Business District. During these past three years, I listened to many negative people with many negative comments about the money being spent on the above mentioned projects. I was one of the few who stood firm in my belief that good things would come of it. Too many of us want instant gratification. It took years for the downtown to deteriorate and just in these short years, we can see a far faster improvement in the business climate in the historic district. Is the job finished?
No, we have just begun. Now that we can see how a positive forecast of a few can create a “mood” of betterment, we can continue to grow Downtown Mason City.
We can be partly thankful that because of Wright on the Park, we are getting it right on the park.