Downtown discussed in Humboldt
By ROBERT WOLF
HUMBOLDT – The Humboldt City Council heard comments Monday from the public about a proposed downtown apartment complex.
Kevin Skow is proposing a four-unit apartment complex with garages on the green area behind the new Downtown Plaza.
The complex would cost about $350,000.
The council decided to seek public comments about the proposal. About 10 people attended the meeting. Some were in favor of the apartments, some wanted apartments and office space and others felt the city wasn’t doing enough to attract retail businesses.
The city recently had two abandoned buildings demolished at the site on Sumner Avenue and put in the plaza.
Mayor Walter Jensen said he has received a few phone calls about the project. They were split evenly between those in favor and those against, he said.
“Seems like everywhere I go people want to talk about it,” said Councilman John Sleiter.
Everyone Sleiter heard from was against it, he said.
“They want to see it remain retail,” he said.
Council members have suggested leaving the front two apartments for office space.
However, Skow said he can get more rent for an apartment than for an office.
“Every week I get somebody who will pay $850 for an apartment but I don’t know if they will pay for an office” he said. There is a great need in the area for apartments in that price range, he said.
“I’m getting little old ladies that are calling saying ‘Boy I hope you can do it,'” he said.
Councilman Joel Goodell said his main concern was aesthetics – how would the building fit in with other downtown buildings. He agreed there was a need for such apartments. Skow said he was willing to work with the council on the proposal.
“We need to decide whether we are going to grow or whether we are going to sit,” Goodell said. “We need to build a base.”
“I hate to be in somebody’s way if he wants to do it,” said Councilman Joe Hadar.
The council decided to have a public hearing on the proposal Dec. 16.