Anomalous Empty Spaces for Downtown

Tibet_HouseNothing says awesome downtown like empty spaces, but there are about four downtown properties that together total more than 40,000 square feet that have been largely fallow for more than a year.

Tibet House on 4th Street may polarize with its mural, but that’s about all the building has done lately. The story is that its owner slathered on so much money in developing the property that he cannot recoup his investment if he sells or leases at market rates—so he is content to just pay property taxes on a huge empty building with a prime parking lot for the moment.

Sivetz Coffee on 4th Street was going to be developed by Ben Metzger as a sports bar, but rules be rules and the city has them, and in this case ODOT gets in the game, too, because 4th is technically a highway—anyone navigating this course gets our tip-of-the-hat.

Across from the downtown post office are a bunch of buildings that used to be combined to make up Wow Fitness and for a short time contained a seasonal art gallery. The rent seems right, so it’s a wonder the prime location hasn’t brought a suitor. Odd factoid, our publisher called to inquire for a project unrelated to The Advocate. The property owner refused to talk with him, saying she felt the paper had the right to run a cover depictingCharlie Hebdo cartoons, but that she was concerned about having her buildings blown up.

Sub-Zero has long departed and the space is actually slated for repurpose by its property owner as a rentable venue for meetings and gatherings. One room has already been fitted with all the necessary fixtures and is being advertised as available, and the other room is probably not far behind.

By Rob Goffins

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