Three out of the four corners of Hillman’s main intersection (RAS/Orcas) are occupied by religious enterprises. These ‘storefronts’ typically gravitate to where rents are low, of course.
The *good* thing about them is that their presence encourages the buildings’ owners to maintain the premises. The bad thing is that, except for the believers who occupy the chairs and pews, no one else frequents the area.
Unfortunately, the fourth corner is occupied by a group of small businesses that cater to a specialized demographic, and do *not* seem to keep an attractive appearance for customers, so people aren’t drawn to them, either.
The first challenge for any neighborhood improvement group will be to make that important corner attractive to casual passers-by, and to give drivers and strollers a reason to stop and look around. That’s how CC managed its Renaissance. Churches and wig shops are not that good reason. I’m hoping the new ‘pub’ on RAS might be a start, though.
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