Editorial: Economic tide rolling in to downtown

September 23, 2010 10:51:00 AM



Economic tides seem to ebb and flow in downtown Columbus, as they do most places. Businesses come and go. Stores and restaurants open, then go dark, and are replaced with something new. 


But is downtown Columbus on the verge of having every available storefront filled? 


It''s a possibility. According to Columbus'' Main Street Association, only five out of 105 business fronts are either empty or have no prospective tenants.  


New on the scene are restaurant Station 7 Bar and Grill; clothing store Doodlebug Consignment; Mainstream Technologies; Rose, the new shoe store near City Hall; and Bliss Yoga on Fifth Street North. 


In the works are two new children''s clothing stores, Grins & Giggles and Evan''s Castle, both on Fifth Street South. 


A fine-antiques mall is in the works for the old Parker Furniture location, also on Fifth Street South. An organic grocery store and deli is in the works, as is the relocation of Bella Derma spa to Fifth Street North, in the Frank Imes apartment building, with its palatial second-floor pool. 


Add to these developments the renovation to the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center, and the brand new condo-office building under construction behind it. On the horizon are the renovation of the old Highway 82 bridge into a pedestrian walkway, and the soccer complex in Burns Bottom. 


All of a sudden, things seem to be booming on Main Street. 


We''re heartened by the businesses that are relocating to downtown, convinced of its visibility and potential for foot traffic. And we''re buoyed by the spirit of the entrepreneurs making a go of it in downtown Columbus for the first time, especially during a recession (which some economists claim is already over, but probably not locally). 


To those who say they never come downtown to shop or spend time, we say: Check it out. Things are happening down here.