JDA invites residents to ‘Tour the Possibilities’
Rugby’s Job Development Authority is inviting area residents on a stroll through a part of town with lots of potential this Thursday evening, from 5-8 p.m.
The event, called “Tour the Possibilities” is open to “anyone interested in developing and sharing ideas,” according to Rugby JDA Executive Director Jessica Brossart. “It could be anyone from business owners, or people who have some business ideas, to investors people who would like to buy a building and have it rented out right away, and find people that are looking for spaces.”
The tour begins at 5 p.m. with snacks served in the former location of Ellie Ann’s Interior Design on South Main Avenue.
“We’re focusing on South Main, right by the railroad tracks,” Brossart said of the tour. “There are several buildings right there.”
“This event features a walking tour and networking social in downtown Rugby of buildings and spaces available for sale or rent: the Ellie Ann’s building; the building by Schaan Oil, which has piqued a lot of interest. A lot of people have asked me about that building,” Brossart noted. “So, that’s really going to be a highlight of our tour. I’m excited for it to get shown off.”
“The former Buck’s building (will be on the tour),” Brossart continued. “The former Overtime (site) in the Joy Dental Space, which are all in the Ellie Ann’s building area; there’s space in I Design; and the former Schaan Crop Insurance building (will also be included).”
The tour will end at the former Sons of Norway building at 510 S. Main Avenue.
Brossart said when participants gather before the tour in the Ellie Ann’s building, students from Kevin Leier’s Community Building class at Rugby High will greet them and guide small groups to each site.
Each building has unique features, and some need a little TLC.
“All these spaces have different amounts of work needed,” said Brossart. “Some are ready to go; but the old Overtime building, for example, needs some vision, and quite a lot of work, but it’s easily doable, because it’s a solid structure, with a drive up window, so it has some possibilities that other structures don’t have.”
Brossart continued, “Ellie Ann’s is beautifully done, and it was used as a business not long ago. The building by Schaan Oil is a nice work in progress. The former Buck’s building is pretty good-to-go; it could use a bit of updating, but it’s in good shape. Of course, the Joy Dental and I Design spaces are pretty good-to-go. And the former Schaan Crop Insurance is a very nice building, too.”
Representatives from local real estate agencies will serve as guides in some of the buildings.
“We’re going to feature Brokers 12 in the Ellie Ann’s building, Real Estate 7 in the Schaan Crop Insurance building, and Century 21 in the Sons of Norway building,” Brossart noted.
Tour participants will have opportunities to share their ideas at each site.
“At each building,” Brossart said, “there will be a poster that people can write on for ideas and suggestions that could be put into those buildings. Those will be brought back to the Sons of Norway building, for another social hour of sharing ideas and discussing what everybody thought of the tour, and the spaces on the tour.”
Brossart said appetizers, desserts and a cash bar will be available as participants socialize, collaborate and share ideas at the close of the tour.
Other towns in North Dakota have sponsored events similar to Rugby’s downtown tour.
“This kind of thing has been done in Mandan for a couple of years now; the first year, they had about 40 people, and their second year, they had about 100 people, and it really got things moving in Mandan,” Brossart indicated. “Wahpeton, they had one also, and they had really good feedback, and good luck with people, even moving or shifting to a building that more suited them, and creating another space.”
“Then, Grafton also is another town that did this,” she continued.
“All three of those towns I basically took all the information that they could give me about their events, and I took their advice on how I could make ours a successful one,” Brossart said.
“I’m hoping for a good turnout, and I hope people are excited to share.”
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