Our Voice: Econofoods building sale good news, good opportunity

Farm Forum

Nearly two years after it closed, the old Econofoods building is getting new life, and we couldn’t be happier.

HCI Developers bought the space with plans to turn the 45,000-square-foot building on Sixth Avenue into three or four smaller tenant spaces.

That seems to take away a lot of local residents’ dream stores from contention (Hobby Lobby? Kohl’s? Jo-Ann Fabric? Hy-Vee? All popular wishes, but these stores are not coming). But the size of the units — and the likely cost to rent — mean that the tenants there will be of a high caliber.

We all agree that empty buildings look bad, especially on our most-traveled street.

The Econofoods building is in a showcase location. Unfortunately, since April 2011, it has showcased an empty lot, semitrucks parked overnight and a faded facade that shows the ghosts of the old Econofoods sign.

Now the building will get a good upgrade, the parking lot will be lit. And the city’s landscaping ordinance should kick in, too, meaning the field of parking spaces will get attractive foliage.

Getting this opportunity around the time the city of Aberdeen is getting its Buxton study ready is a lucky break, too. The Buxton company will do an economic development study of Aberdeen this year, which city leaders hope will help attract more dining and retail options.

Now it looks like there might be several new spots on Sixth Avenue available.