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BID discusses downtown speaker system, parking at 505 Building

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Andy Comstock of Quality Video and Sound, center, gives a presentation on a proposed speaker system project to the Downtown Business Improvement District Board Wednesday.

The Downtown Business Improvement District Board discussed the implementation of a speaker system and parking at the 505 Building at its meeting Tuesday.

The board heard a presentation from Andy Comstock of Quality Video and Sounds for the project.

“I’d like to do this for you, and I’d like to do it right,” he said.

The project would attach speakers to street poles from Second Street to Military Avenue and D Street to Park Avenue.

Comstock said the system would require a central antenna and computer located at the MainStreet of Fremont’s building at 529 N. Main St. From there, he said a microphone could be attached and used in events such as parades.

The speakers would be connected to transmitters, which would allow them to communicate with each other. Comstock said the board could choose between a point-to-point communication or a rocket antenna, which would transmit a 360-degree signal.

When asked by Boardmember Kevin Main if the transmitters would use solar power, Chairman Tom Coday said the method wouldn’t be enough to power them.

“We don’t want these big, huge concert speakers,” Comstock said. “All we want is a nice, comfortable background noise that’s going to be a good sound quality.”

Comstock said he would spend the next week researching different opportunities for the project, which Coday said was within BID’s budget.

With the parking situation for new residents of Lofts @ 505, Ryan Durant, owner and developer of the 505 Building, said he would add language in the lease to have them utilize the parking garage and parking lot west of the building behind Milady Coffeehouse.

“Know that we’re going to support you, and these residents are going to support you,” he said. “They’re going to use your businesses, and so that’s the whole thought about revitalizing Main Street, is getting bodies down here, making it feel different than maybe what it did five years ago.”

Durant said Lofts @ 505 would have 28 apartments and predicted around 30 new cars in the area.

“We’re still a long ways out and we just kicked it off,” he said. “I don’t expect folks to start moving in until probably July of next year, but I definitely wanted to come and talk to you guys.”

When asked by Main as to what the first floor of the building would be used for as Five-0-Five Brewing Company moved down the street, Durant said he was attempting to get an Omaha restaurant or another brewery to fill the space.

“[The restaurant industry is] running into a lot of issues, so trying to convince somebody to come out to Fremont’s been a little challenging, but I think Fremont would benefit from a downtown restaurant,” he said.

Boardmember Howard Krasne also discussed the future project to add a greenspace on Fifth Street between Main Street and Park Avenue.

“What I would like to see in that area is a gathering spot with a possible venue, maybe a portable stage or a permanent stage, possibly a water attraction in the summer, an ice attraction in the winter,” he said.

Krasne said with Durant’s work on the 505 Building and Sam Heineman of Dodge County Realty Group working with a prospective person interested in starting a restaurant at 453 N. Main St., both parties were interested in an outdoor seating area and would contribute to the project.

“I think with the added people that Ryan is going to bring into the community, with the restaurant on the other side of the street with Sam, we’re going to hopefully try to turn this into an entertainment district,” he said.

In other news, the board discussed the hiring of a BID/MainStreet director and two upcoming informational meetings on the BID set for noon on Aug. 25 and 5 p.m. Aug. 26 at MainStreet’s office.

The BID’s next meeting will start at noon on Sept. 21 at Country Traditions at 330 N. Main St.

Dana Reeves, chief executive officer and executive director of the Digg Site Productions, talks about plans for the Empress Theater in downtown Fremont.


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