Redmond residents post their downtown wishes

"I wish this were..." campaign a success

Downtown Redmond adorned by wish-notes

REDMOND, Ore. - Walking through downtown Redmond, three empty buildings stand within feet of each other on Sixth Street. That's just three of the dozen surrounding downtown.

"I think if we have empty buildings, that means we have less to offer to the community and if we find a way to fill those, we have more to offer," said Bern Theisen.

Theisen's been managing The Printing Post in Downtown Redmond for nearly eight years, so she's seen her fair share of businesses come and go.

Theisen and members of the Redmond Downtown Association came up with a concept to try and fix that -- let the people have a say by sticking Post-It Notes on the windows of the empty stores with their wishes during the Third Friday Stroll.

"It was interesting to see people stopping and putting up Post-Its, and it was interesting to see the diversity of what they wanted," Theisen said.

Theisen compiled a list of all the ideas --these are just a few. What used to be the old Urban on 6th Street, some think should be a Made in Oregon shop, an arcade, a Voodoo Donut Shop or a gluten-free bakery.

At the former Boudoir Fantasy shop, people what to see a portrait studio, a ballroom dance studio, a growler fill station or a self-serve yogurt shop.

As for the old bank on the corner of Sixth and Deschutes Avenue downtown, suggestions included a fine men's clothing store, an animal hospital or a small theater.

"I saw a lot of groups of teenagers and families in front of places really talking about their dreams and what they'd like to see in their community," said Kari Bennett, owner of Sweet Peas N' Me. "And if I was a future business owner, you'd be darn right I'd be running down to see what was written on those things,"

Theisen added, "What's interesting now is to hear from the property owners and different people in the city that now want to know what those lists say."

Whether your wishes become reality, your voice could at least guide the way.

"When you really listen to the people of the community, it's more important to find out what you want," Theisen said.

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