In the past weeks, many great ideas have been put forth by the community to explore the possibility of alternative uses for our old fire department building, hopefully saving it from demolition.
Many citizens contacted me, and hopefully our council members and city administration heard this creative input as well.
Here are some of the ideas:
A senior center. The ambulance bays could house the public transit vehicles that will be available soon, for senior transportation. Or the building could become our city public transit/bus hub.
A marketplace like Keg and Case in St. Paul: a place where mixed retail and food and smaller vendors can sell their products, bringing new ideas and products to the community.
A brewery, or serve yourself taproom, to showcase local beer, wine and spirits from throughout the river valley.
An exchange marketplace or a secondhand swap store.
Affordable, rent controlled spaces for living or business.
The Hudson Co-op.
A mixed use marketplace, food, retail, meeting spaces.
A music venue.
A beer garden.
Or a combination of any of the above.
Many constituents do support more parking and got creative with that as well. A two- or three-level parking structure could be tucked in behind the fire department building, in the space adjacent to the retaining wall. There is an elevation change in Third and Laurel streets that might allow access from above and below.
These ideas are all worth consideration and exploration. Creative voices lead to innovative spaces and a stronger community.