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SHERIDAN — The Downtown Sheridan Association has contracted with Community Builders, Inc., from Casper, to conduct a feasibility study regarding the possibility of establishing an entrepreneurial center in the historic district. DSA Director Stacie Coe said the initiative is rooted in hopes of filling empty real estate downtown.
According to a press release from the DSA, the entrepreneurial center would feature office, retail and general work space for new or expanding businesses.
Coe said if the study reveals a center would benefit the community, there is a potential of securing grants from the Wyoming Business Council to purchase and upgrade empty property on Main Street to be resold or rented.
She said some buildings on Main Street have been empty for a long time because they encompass large spaces that need significant remodeling. An example is the storefront of what used to host Dan’s Western Wear.
In addition to existing empty lots, the Hallmark store next to the WYO Theater has announced it will close at the end of the month.
Coe said an entrepreneurial center downtown might make development in the downtown district more appealing for small business owners, and the goal of any project would be to give the improved buildings back to the community.
“We’re not in the business of owning property,” Coe explained, adding the idea of the project is to turn around downtown space that has been standing vacant for a long time. “We just want to get it moving.”
The feasibility study is made possible via a $25,000 grant from the Wyoming Business Council. The city of Sheridan will contribute an additional $8,340 for a total cost of $33,340.
CBI Consultant Joe Coyne said in the release the DSA has already completed much of the necessary background work needed for the study.
“Renovating and preserving a historic downtown building to target new growth is an excellent way to build on the good things already happening,” he said.