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LifeQuest to open 'creative' space at newly renovated Main Street building

Providing a space where community members can join LifeQuest residents in various activities at the 401 N. Main St. building is something Hanna said LifeQuest has been "seeking to do more of."

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Shown here is the front entrance of the 401 N. Main St. building that LifeQuest is planning to purchase and utilize for cooking educational skills. The former Fabric and Textile Warehouse building was recently renovated after sitting vacant for over a decade. (Sam Fosness / Republic)
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A newly renovated building on Mitchell’s Main Street that’s sat empty for over a decade has attracted a buyer.

LifeQuest recently purchased the 401 N. Main St. building in downtown Mitchell to utilize it as an "open, creative space" for activities and community events, according to Pam Hanna, executive director at LifeQuest. During Monday’s city Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, the board approved LifeQuest’s plan to add more interior improvements to the building.

"For quite some time, we've been looking for an area downtown that we can share with the community for a wide variety of activities and events," Hanna said, pointing to art demonstrations, live music and fundraising events as some of the activities that the organization's new building could host.

As part of LifeQuest's mission to enrich the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities, Hanna said connecting the residents with the community is a vital piece of the equation. Providing a space where community members can join LifeQuest residents in various activities at the 401 N. Main St. building is something Hanna said LifeQuest has been "seeking to do more of."

Hanna can recall when the former Fabric and Textile Warehouse building on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Main Street used to be a "hopping" place in downtown Mitchell. With LifeQuest's plan for the building, she hopes to bring that kind of life back.

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"We really want to share what we do at LifeQuest with the community, and this building will give us a space to do that. We hope to see the community use this creative space with us to build that relationship," Hanna said, noting the building will be dubbed 401 Create by LifeQuest. "The biggest thing we want to stress is that this building will welcome everyone. It's an exciting time for us right now."

While LifeQuest provides outreach and services to help individuals who live with developmental disabilities at its 804 N. Mentzer St. location, the Main Street building marks continued growth for the local organization.

Over the past year, the building was renovated into a modern office and retail space. The remodel made room for three tenants, but LifeQuest would be the sole occupant if the plan materializes, which the city of Mitchell's building inspector John Hegg said would simplify things.

As the building sat empty for more than a decade, it began deteriorating. But the current property owners didn’t want to see another downtown eyesore and opted to rehabilitate the 6,722-square-foot building, which began in late 2019 after the Planning Commission approved the plan.

“Originally, the building was set up for three tenants. But LifeQuest is buying the whole building I believe,” said John Hegg, the city of Mitchell’s building inspector, during Monday’s meeting. “Now we have one tenant, and it’s going to be one single use.”

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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