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  • Downtown Hartford Sees Renewed Interest

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    Downtown Hartford Sees Renewed Interest
                    In the 1970’s and 1980’s, downtowns across the country began to experience a mass exodus of retailers. With the growing popularity of enclosed shopping centers or malls, many jumped ship to be located in suburban areas rather than urban downtowns. Families were trading their urban lives for the suburbs – something made possible by the expanding interstate and highway system. While Hartford didn’t necessarily classify as a suburb in the 1980’s and 1990’s, these trends affected our community as well. Many of the businesses that were at one point located downtown either moved to a more accessible commercial space on Highway 38 or went out of business entirely. For the last 20 years, downtown Hartford has seen businesses come and go but never new construction until just recently.
                    The Hartford Area Development Corporation and the City of Hartford have been proud to announce the first new construction in downtown Hartford on Main Ave in decades. Buffalo Ridge Brewing has been working on its location at 102 N. Main Ave for almost two months now. They plan to have their 5 barrel brewery open in fall of 2018 for the public to enjoy. A project like theirs will change the face of downtown Hartford and bring travelers to our community. But they haven’t been the only new project downtown this year. Members from the community, West Central School District, the Gage House/Senior Citizen Center, Siouxland Libraries, and the City of Hartford have been working on a new space for the Hartford library. Originally located in the Mundt Building downtown, the library moved to West Central sometime in the 1990’s where it has since been located. Starting on August 8th, the library has returned to downtown Hartford with its new space at 119 N. Main Ave in the Gage House. The hours for the library have been expanded to better allow for access for the public including senior citizens, daycares, and the young families that frequent its services. Downtown Hartford has changed dramatically in 2018. While downtown has seen renewed interest, there are still opportunities that can be capitalized on. More retail on the two block corridor would be a welcome fit as more people frequent the area.
                    Hartford is growing. New homes continue to be built and interested businesses are conducting market research on the area. If the community wants more business to come to town then it is more important than ever to support the businesses that we have here today. While it sometimes might seem more convenient to do business elsewhere, that choice when aggregated across the community has inconvenient consequences. Like downtowns across the country, things begin to decline when they aren’t given proper attention. Hartford’s economy is similar. When its patrons conduct business elsewhere, other cities and people receive funds that would have otherwise impacted our community. Hartford is growing but if we want to see new businesses come and succeed here, it is up to us to allocate our resources in their direction.
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