Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Downtown problems, case in point

I've put this opinion in print before: If everyone doesn't get on the same side — that means the city, business owners and property owners — downtown Tracy will languish, redevelopment effort or no.

A case in point happened this week, when structural problems left unaddressed by a property owner forced the closure of Helm's Ale House. This is a blow to downtown, as the ale house was exactly the type of outfit a bustling center needs — a restraurant anchoring a busy streetcorner that caters to a wide variety of customers, but that also fosters nightlife and gives people a reason to visit the area.

(Plus, the beer selection was superb.)

The problems to the building were known by the property owner for some time, but according to business owner Dave Helm, they either went wholly unaddressed or the landlord tried to fix the issues with substandard Band Aids.

Don't maintain the building that houses an up-and-coming business that pays you rent — it's the perfect way to kill downtown growth.

It's a story that will repeat unless everyone with a stake in downtown gets on the same page and realizes all players benefit from prudent cooperation and investment.