As the dilapidated Third Avenue and Main Street building continues to corrode, Megan Sabers' nearby local business has worked around Mitchell's downtown eyesore.
On Wednesday morning, Sabers said goodbye to construction crews and welcomed a new roof atop her clothing store, Tickled Pink Boutique. It was a project Sabers has been anxiously awaiting to see through, as she's dealt with a leaking roof and a myriad of other issues in her four years of owning a historic Main Street building. Although the local business owner is maintaining her storefront, the neglected 301 and 303 N. Main St. building has dealt Sabers' boutique more challenges.
"It's really frustrating seeing how bad the building looks, and it's only getting worse," Sabers said of the Third Avenue and Main Street building. "It's another challenge I've had to deal with, and I didn't think this issue would still be going on by now."
Maintaining her 217 N. Main St. building has been a costly and challenging process, but Sabers' pride for her business and Mitchell's Main Street drives her motivation to keep up the historic building.
With its tall columns and marble steps near the entryway at her current location, Sabers said she's always been fascinated with the historic building, which was built in 1905.
Before purchasing the 114-year-old building-which was a bank throughout much of the 20th century-Sabers previously operated her boutique across the street on the east side of Third Avenue and North Main Street. She opened her retail store at that location in 2011 and has enjoyed steady business success since, factoring in the move.
"I always loved this building, and I've put a lot of work into it. It's a unique building, and it's fun to hear people stop in and reminisce on how the building looked years ago," Sabers said. "Having rented retail space at an old Main Street building, I knew what I was getting into. They're old buildings, and you have to maintain it."
In addition, Sabers said acquiring more parking space was another major factor that guided her decision to relocate to her existing storefront. With the corroding nearby building prompting the street closure of Third Avenue west of North Main Street-which is where customers would be able to park-Sabers hasn't been able to seize on the additional customer parking space.
"We were barely here for a full year before the city had to close the street," Sabers said. "My business and Crafty Fox suffer the most, because they basically have no parking space with the street closure."
Not only has the neglected building created more challenges for Sabers' and nearby Main Street businesses, it's been an ongoing affair for the city of Mitchell.
Prior to the March 4 Mitchell City Council meeting, a breakthrough seemed to be on the horizon for Main Street business owners, because the Third Avenue and Main Street building owner David Finnell reached a settlement agreement with the city.
After an executive session, the council narrowly voted to deny approving the settlement agreement. Council member Kevin McCardle made up one of the votes who said he wanted to set a precedent to hold Main Street property owners responsible for maintaining their buildings.
While Sabers was eager to see a resolution on the Third Avenue and Main Street building, she understood the Council's decision.
"You have to have your funds in order before you open a business and buy or rent a building, and the city can't bail everyone out that fails to do that," Sabers said. "We are going to keep pushing forward, and I really appreciate my customers understanding this is out of our hands."