BUSINESS OWNERS INVEST IN DOWNTOWN
By Caitlin Switzer
MONTROSE–(July 14, 2014) Summer is in full bloom, and Downtown Montrose is feeling the love this season with increased business and private investment.
“We’re having a good summer,” Phuong Nguyen of Coffee Trader (845 East Main Street) said. “Business is up, better than last year. We’re seeing more out-of-state people, and that’s important.
“I think people are generally upbeat about the economy, and we are seeing that trend,” he said.
That trend is also reflected at Around the Corner Art Gallery (447 Main Street), where staffer Anne Britton expressed cautious optimism.
“Things are picking up around here,” she said. “It might even be a little better than last year.”
Among those investing in the future of Downtown are Zach and Jennifer Prock, new owners of the historic building at 337 Main Street. According to authors Cathleen M. Norman and Marilyn S. Cox in Take Closer Look Montrose Colorado–A Walking Tour Guide , the building–which last housed the popular Wild Rose Boutique–is “the original site of the little adobe hovel that housed the T.B. Townsend Hardware Store in 1883.” The current structure was built in 1896, the book notes, and has housed many businesses over the centuries–perhaps most notably the Reeves Department Store.
The Procks, who own a number of other local businesses including the Downtown Penthouse a few doors down, have no plan “set in stone” for the building, but hope to create something positive for Downtown.
“It could be a special events venue, for wedding receptions and wine dinners,” Jennifer Prock said, “But we really don’t know yet. The opportunity was just there to do this; we got a good deal and we jumped. Hopefully we can get it fixed up and keep our Downtown going strong.”
Debbie Blanchard, whose popular D’Medici Footwear opened three years ago at 316 East Main Street, is looking at building her already strong investment in Main Street. Though Blanchard recently opened the Warehouse Clearance store at 306 East Main, she is considering a third location in the neighborhood.