Downtown inventory on the way

Debbie McBee hangs a flower pot on a lamp post last year on Main Street in downtown Pendleton.<BR><I>File photo</I>

Al Plute has all but wrapped up the first chunk of work to inventory the retail space on Pendleton's Main Street. But the Pendleton Downtown Partnership still has a way to go before the information can do much good.

The consulting firm of Crandall Arambula suggested the inventory is an important resource to show potential businesses what kind of space is available. Plute, owner of the St. George Plaza, said the inventory includes addresses, square footage and the names and phone numbers of building owners. Plute said he's had some trouble getting contact information for absentee owners, and that may come down to some letter writing to get them to respond.

Plute said he had help from the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce and workers at Pioneer Title and Wheatland Insurance, and his wife typed the information into a spreadsheet.

He also said he didn't add up the number of vacancies or the total amount of retail square footage on Main Street. Rather, he said, he was more about "filling in the blanks."

Plute has given the information to Jesse Batty, the city intern who working with the downtown partnership. The city will put the information on its Web site so anyone can access it, Plute said, and Batty will use it as a stepping stone to inventory the area surrounding Main Street.

The inventory also may go on other Web sites. Tracy Bosen, Pendleton economic development director, told the partnership he wants to place the inventory on a business Web site.

Gena Stockton, chairwoman of the Pendleton Downtown Partnership, said the inventory won't end here. There are still basements to consider and upper floor space. And the group aims to reach out to the local real estate board and to title companies to stay on top of the inventory data. Plute said the inventory is a concrete step toward the overall goal of revitalizing downtown and filling it with businesses and people.

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