Minot’s downtown still a work in progress

People who read the front page article in Sunday’s edition concerning the transformation of Minot’s downtown surely must have detected the positive mood that merchants there are conveying.

Vibrant, energized, festive, rejuvinated – all are words or sentiments expressed in the article by business owners, developers and city officials in the wake of three years of infrastructure projects downtown.

However, there is no one clear vision for the central business district yet. Instead, individuals have all sorts of mental pictures of a new downtown, from shoppers strolling along a riverwalk, to dining al fresco at all hours of the day, to street markets, thriving art schools and themed festivals.

The ideas are really flowing, and that is good to see in a part of town some might say has been clinging to life for decades.

Some of the ideas being hatched are quite innovative, such as the one the Downtown Business & Professional Association has to bus Minot Air Force Base residents to town so they can enjoy activities downtown.

“The DBPA is launching a program to bus Minot Air Force Base residents to the downtown, stopping at MSU to pick up students. The first day is Saturday, March 17, followed by a second event on April 14. The association hopes to make it a regular event the third Saturday of each month,” Senior Staff Writer Jill Schramm’s article reported.

On March 17, the DBPA will host the Magic City Market at the Parker Center, where artists and entrepreneurs will be able to take their ideas to the public.

What fun it must be to be part of the core group of business people planning and brainstorming events and infrastructure that will shape downtown for generations to come. Jessica Ackerman is part of that movement.

“I can feel the energy and vibrancy of the downtown,” said Ackerman, who has acquired older buildings there with plans to bring them new life.

“I can definitely see the future of it. I love downtown now. What I really enjoy is the food and beverage and arts and culture and the local flavor,” she said. “I want more of that.”

And so do we all.