Does it matter if HWS has an office downtown?

Yes, it does. I recently noticed an HWS office sign downtown on Main Street. I really think this is a great idea for a number of reasons:

  • the more people working, living and shopping downtown, the more vibrant our Main Streets will become;
  • working downtown means that employees can use their lunch breaks to walk to places to eat or do errands (e.g. post office, public library);
  • there is one less vacant storefront;
  • I think the university is leasing the space, which means that the building owner, in turn, is paying property taxes (note: typically, universities are exempt from local property taxes), and;
  • it seems to me that there is something symbolic about extending the built environment of the campus into the heart of the city. I know that there are loads of great campus / community initiatives, but there is something about a bricks and mortar presence that strikes me as pretty powerful.

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