It’s exciting to see the city of Sheridan again begin evaluating potential uses for the North Main neighborhood. The cause isn’t a new one, but it will likely become a more pressing one as the area on the northern most limits of the city starts to develop.
It has been said over and over again that development in those neighborhoods will likely take years of planning, encouraging rehabilitation and redevelopment and maybe even some infill incentives.
Most of the homework has already been completed. There are master plans for the area around the North Main interchange, which is slated for construction in the next couple of years. A nonprofit, the North Main Association, has been advocating for rehabilitation of properties for years as well.
As more and more organizations build facilities on properties that used to be the Wrench Ranch — Vacutech, Sheridan College, Ptolemy Data Systems — the snowball effect will increase the need to cleanup properties in the area. One building leads to another and when Sheridan County School District 2 adds an elementary school on the north side, that school will lead to the building of more homes. Homes will lead to things like convenient stores, grocery stores and other neighborhood must-haves.
The city of Sheridan held a public meeting this week seeking ideas regarding uses of the vacant or run-down properties on North Main Street. In conjunction with that, The Sheridan Press asked its Facebook followers a similar question.
The responses overlapped a lot. Some responders advocated for a chain store like Target. While Target is likely out of reach for Sheridan due to the population draw of the community, other suggestions would be more feasible. For example, several responders said they’d like to see a grocery store on the north side of the city. As more and more homes are built in the northern neighborhoods, a grocery store becomes more likely along with features like parks, convenient stores and other retail opportunities.
Some respondents also listed restaurant chains they’d like to see come to the area. Again, some of the chains may be out of Sheridan’s reach, but it shows the genre of food local residents would support.
As the city once again begins the discussion about the future of the North Main area, we can only hope that the efforts will lead to some change and improvements. While development can only be encouraged, it would be nice to see less talk and more action.