Every small town downtown has some unused buildings and others used just for storage. They aren’t adding anything to the downtown economy. What can you do with them, besides ignore them?
Use the storefronts to advertise other businesses.
Yes, it will take cooperative building owners. And this only works if the front windows are in good shape. But it’s better than painting or boarding over windows, or even worse, leaving a view into the empty space or the junk stored there.
These photos are of a building used for storage in downtown Alva, Oklahoma. The front windows were rented out to other retail businesses that didn’t have a downtown presence.
Update: Also check out these new examples from Elkhart, Kansas.
Would you rather fill those empty buildings? Deb Brown and I have put together a Toolkit to show you how she filled empty buildings by running a tour. You can get the details at the Tour of Empty Buildings Toolkit.
- Rural business idea: sell foraged fruits and more - August 3, 2021
- Best practices for rural housing - July 19, 2021
- How to be more open to new ideas #IdeaFriendly - July 3, 2021
- Market your small town as a movie filming location, attract movie and game fan tourists - June 28, 2021
- Survey of Rural Challenges 2021 results, analysis of themes from 2015 through today - June 7, 2021
- What makes a small town a micropolitan or nanopolitan? - May 22, 2021
- Improving Rural Housing: turning blighted dilapidated houses into new homes - May 7, 2021
- Are marijuana shops good or bad for small towns? - April 22, 2021
- Downtown is your town’s core: How to make your case - February 22, 2021
- Zoom Towns: attracting and supporting remote workers in rural small towns - December 10, 2020