Friday, November 03, 2006

New Businesses Eye Marion's Main Street

WBVN Radio announced they're moving their new studio to downtown Marion Thursday to the old Tony's Steakhouse across from the Civic Center just off the square.

WBVN is the region's largest contemporary Christian radio station and produces a number of concerts at the Civic Center. Though it's not directly tourism-related it's a boost to downtown Marion.

Also coming downtown is another business in the old Stylart building next to City Hall. I've been told what the business is, but I can't tell because the person telling me didn't know of the new business owners were ready to announce.

That something is coming is not a secret. A large construction-size dumpster has been sitting on the sidewalk mirroring the dumpster across the square in front of the old Marion State and Savings Bank building while it goes through a complete renovation.

Already they've ripped out the fake walls and drop ceiling of the dress shop and apparently plan on keep the space open up to tin ceiling.

The third project is down West Main Street with a new retail establishment going into the old CVS drug store building next to Borowiak's supermarket.

And meanwhile city officials hope that there's a real live prospect interested in the old Marion Memorial Hospital building.

Two weeks ago at the city council meeting Mayor Bob Butler did some of the worst one-sided negotiating I've ever seen, as he managed to get all five council members to say on the record what their bottom price would be to sell the building.

This is the type of negotiating usually done in closed session. It was pretty obvious the mayor was trying to send a very strong hint to someone.

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