We are starting to get close to rounding out the walking tour. Today I lumped Center, Church, and Maple Streets together because they are some of the smaller tertiary streets in the business improvement district. They are just a bit off of the main drag, but still much more tangible than some of the outliers.
Starting at the corner of Center and Loder and walking back into the city, the first business is Raymond Callahan Insurance, followed by Envoy Environmental Consultants, UR Medicine’s Pinnacle Family Medicine, soon to open Maxfit 24, Oak Orchard Health and the Hornell Area Family YMCA.
Taking a slight detour on to Main Street, I head over to Church Street. Family Farm Insurance, College Suppliers, Tip-Toes, St. Ann’s Academy, John Dagon’s Attorney at Law, Oak Orchard (second location on the short walk) accompanied by Dr. Collins and Dr. Pieklo, and Dagon’s Funeral Home make up the entire Church Street section.
Rounding the corner onto Maple Street, Bee-Bop Hair Shop, Steuben Trust, Bullfrog Realty & Property Management, and Brandy’s Cup of Joe end the little tour.
I thought it was interesting to note that on these side streets, with very close proximity to Main Street, the majority of the businesses were professional services and health oriented businesses. This actually makes sense to me because in a perfect world a city’s Main Street would be the focal point where the “dynamic” storefronts are located. And on the side streets close to Main Street, professional services should set up shop due to the proximity of the downtown scene and feasibility for flow of traffic without completely clouding the dynamic scene. Now don’t get me wrong, having professional services on your Main Street (or primary, showcased street) is a good thing. But having dynamic, moving storefronts, retail, restaurant, and entertainment is critical to establishing a consistent and appealing district. The ratio should be (and this is purely based on personal observations of other thriving downtowns and holds no scientific weight) 70% dynamic businesses, 30% professional services and the like on your showcased street (and this means 1st floor-ground level). The surrounding streets (and above the storefronts) should account for the majority of your professional services. And I think that this is something that Hornell’s downtown certainly maintains and does well. The problem is that there are TOO MANY vacant storefronts on Main Street. So, since we are NOT living in a perfect world, filling ANY vacancy in the downtown with ANY type of viable business is still WAY MORE appealing than empty windows.
Tomorrow we will hit up the remaining side streets. Join me as we venture towards the city center.