Buildings are up. The three adjacent buildings we lost to the Feb. 22, 2008, fire in the block of 700 Main Avenue are up.
The first to be completed will be at 764 Main Ave., with the anticipated reopening of Seasons Restaurant sometime in the next month. The Seasons building has added two upper floors and will be a mixed use of restaurant, office and residential. Both of the buildings to the south also are up and will be completed later this year with tenants to be announced.
Restoration is up. Longtime local attorney Bobbie Duthie and his wife, Lana, have completed a basement-to-rooftop remodel of 1010 Main Ave. This two-story building includes retail, office and now residential space with the addition of a backside apartment.
Local architect Dean Brookie and his wife, Julianna Rea, are completing a total historic renovation at 858 Main Ave. The Brookie project is 20,000 square feet in size, features a new third floor, and will be set to open by March. The building will house retail and commercial office space.
Time is up. After three years of professional study, resident feedback and city staff review, its time for action on the downtown sidewalk issue. As generally concluded by most who contributed to the process, selected segments of sidewalks will get replaced only where they are considered a safety or maintenance issue. The remaining majority of existing sidewalks will remain untouched. Any sidewalk reconstruction will be pre-planned with retailer feedback to minimize business disruption.
Time's also up on long-awaited pedestrian improvements and streetscape enhancements. This year, newspaper boxes will be corralled, the number of bicycle racks increased, all missing trees replaced and street crossings improved.
Downtown sales tax is up. Yep, despite national gloom and local budget restraint, downtown sales tax is up for the year by 2.84 percent. (December numbers were not available at press time.) Also, the 2,000 copies of the new Be Local Coupon Book have been flying off shelves, so the number of shoppers looking local first appears to be up.
Terms are up. This April, the terms of three of five city councilors are up. Councilors Scott Graham, Doug Lyon and Renee Parsons may retire or declare to run again. Either way, with three City Council seats available, new faces are sure to show up for the race.
Public transit-ridership is up. Systemwide loop service grew by a hearty 52 percent. Trolley traffic serving mostly the downtown area grew by 21 percent. Also, the new Transit Center is up. Located between Seventh and Eighth streets along Camino del Rio, the completion of this new bi-modal transfer station will come in late spring with an opening date set for July 1.
Lastly, signs of optimism are up. Truly an American characteristic, there is something both psychological and symbolic about turning the last page in the calendar. For many reasons, many are glad to see 2008 fade away. As for 2009, so far so good. I'm up for that.
email@example.comBob Kunkel is special events and business coordinator for Durango's Central Business District.