Gieske: Selling Plains building the right thing to do

Gieske: Selling Plains building the right thing to do

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Editor:

I'd like to add my two cents to the excellent editorial of Oct. 27, regarding the proposed sale of the old Plains Furniture building.

I don't pretend to know all the details, but I do know this: several years ago there was a real risk that the parking area behind the building, (said land being owned by the state), would be part of the new state office building project. This would have decimated parking for events at David St Station and Art321, as well as for local businesses such as Racca's, The Office, Urban Bottle, and large downtown events such as Artwalk, Rock the Block, the camera and balloon festivals, and a host of others. A simple thing like lack of parking could easily have destroyed the nascent downtown revitalization.

In large part to preserve downtown parking by forestalling the state building project, the city purchased the Plains property. The state then had to choose another location, and leased that huge parking area to the city. The city now provides that parking area free of charge to downtown patrons. Over a relatively short period of time, the economic value of preserving that parking, combined with future development of the Plains building, the jobs it involves and the revenue it brings in, will exceed any loss that the city sustains on a sale of the building.

Think about this next time you park in that lot, and urge your local council members to vote yes on selling the building.

AMY GIESKE, CasperĀ 

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