MainStreet of Fremont recently contracted a Wisconsin-based firm to spend some time in Historic Downtown Fremont to get a better sense of what will happen with the area moving forward.
Shannon Mullen, executive director of MainStreet of Fremont, spoke Monday about how Todd Barmann of Barmann & Associates provided his specialty Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week by spending nearly a day and a half in the downtown area soaking up the landscape.
Mullen said he did a great deal of on-site sightseeing, met with Fremont’s Market Place Task Force Team and spent time with Mayor Scott Getzschman and City Administrator Brian Newton to get a gauge on needs and plans.
A public meeting was held Thursday evening at the May Brothers Building to gather Fremont resident’s thoughts and feelings, too.
“His specialty really is overseeing downtown areas, and he will be able to give us some great feedback about the feasibility of some things in the downtown moving forward,” Mullen said of Barmann. “Just how we can look forward into the future and determine how we can continue to grow the business mix downtown.”
Barmann, Mullen said, was contracted for the job approximately two months ago because of his vast experience in the field.
“He’s taking a look at how at our current business mix and how future developments are happening in other communities our size, as well as other communities around the United States,” she said. “He has a Main Street specialty and has been in the industry 20-plus years, and then he has his own consulting business so it just shows he has a really good feel for downtown.”
Numerous previously completed studies regarding Fremont’s downtown will be analyzed by Barmann, Mullen said, and his findings and suggestions should be completed by late November or early December.
“He has taken into consideration lots of other studies that have been done downtown as well as other pieces (of information) that we have available,” she said. “He is also taking into consideration growth that will come from Costco (chicken processing plant) and new homes in areas that will be growing.”
Studies like this are important because it shows things a downtown is doing well, and also areas that can use a little adjustment and improvement.
“We want to ensure the success of all of our downtown businesses and make sure that we invite a great mix of businesses,” Mullen said. “We want to push the envelope a little and really see what we can do with the downtown, especially with some of the growth we are seeing.”