It is with a great deal of forethought that I would like to express my personal opinion concerning the proposed location of the new downtown public plaza. I was involved in the retail shoe business for 55 successful years. My business was located at 108 N. Second Ave. - now under new ownership.
The most consistent criticism from my customer clientele was the lack of convenient parking. We eventually were successful in persuading the city council to install parking on both sides of our one way streets which was greatly appreciated by the downtown merchants and our customers.
To consider placing the new proposed plaza on one of the few convenient parking lots in the central business district would be devastating to all the existing retail merchants and professional offices in downtown. As we realize, once this parking lot is replaced by a plaza, it is gone forever! To suggest that this convenient lot be replaced with parking along the river would never be accepted or used by customers. As previously suggested, if the plaza is a necessity, build it on the vacant land on the corner of Thirrd and River.
I would like to suggest that an opinion poll should be solicited from all business and property owners that would be affected by the elimination of this convenient parking lot.
(Previous owner of Masters LaLonde Shoes)