Improvements are popping up all over Downtown Elk Rapids! Along with the MEDC Façade Grant participants, significant improvements are happening at the Town Club as well.
The building owner, John Dunn, discussed it with the business owner, Brendan Burke, and together they came to the conclusion that now was the time for improvements. They began this summer with a façade improvement out front. This facelift has generated quite a buzz and the pair look forward to moving forward with the second part of their plan to refurbish the interior of the building and add a partial second story to the back for increased office and storage space. Phase two will likely take place early 2019 and will involve a full shut down for a few months to hammer out the work.
“I’m looking forward to seeing a cleaned up and secure building again,” said Dunn. Patrons can look forward to the addition of a small kitchen, expanding the restaurant offerings, as well as updated bathrooms.
Improvements such as this really spill over and build up an entire community. The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dollar & Sense series reported that commercial building improvements resulted in an increase in sales in the year after the improvements were made, and those sales were sustained for several years. The increases in sales tended to exceed any increases in local taxes. The improvements also attracted new businesses and shoppers to the target area, and those who made improvements were often motivated to make additional improvements (such as to interior spaces or product lines), and owners/tenants of properties and businesses in surrounding areas were motivated to make improvements as well.
And as for the iconic Town Club sign, it wasn’t feasible to save the bottom of the sign, but the top is being refurbished to hang inside the bar.