Vacant buildings are rare in downtown Leavenworth, and the statistics prove it.
According to Leavenworth Main Street Executive Director Wendy Scheidt, 93 percent of the buildings are occupied in the 28-block downtown district.
She said the occupancy rate is comprised of approximately 250 businesses in downtown Leavenworth.
Scheidt said downtown Leavenworth maintains that percentage because “it’s a good business community that works together.”
Taylour Tedder, assistant city manager for the city of Leavenworth, said such a high occupancy rate for a municipality the size of Leavenworth “is fairly rare.”
He said that high occupancy rate can be attributed to numerous long-standing businesses and their promotional efforts.
“It’s just a place people want to be,” Tedder said.
He said several investors have developed property in the downtown area in recent years.
“They wouldn’t be pouring millions of dollars into Leavenworth if they didn’t think this was a growing area,” he said.
Tedder said many businesses have taken advantage of grants by the city of Leavenworth, as well as no-interest and low-interest loans.
The city of Leavenworth recently purchased a vacant building on the corner of 3rd and Delaware streets with the intent to develop it into a property to lease or own.
Scheidt said Leavenworth Main Street maintains an updated available property listing for the downtown area.
“It’s always fluid but we’ve seen an uptick in people leasing and purchasing buildings (downtown),” she said.
Deanne Montgomery, owner of Picket Fences & Petals, said she was looking to downsize her business of 33 years, including 25 years in Leavenworth. Recently, she moved her shop from the 2500 block of South 4th Street to 425 Delaware St. in the heart of downtown Leavenworth.
“I think everyone wants to support the downtown area,” she said.
Leavenworth resident Nicole Martin said she likes the convenience of the downtown district.
“All of my needs are met right here,” she said.
Not all of the buildings are occupied, including a building on the corner of 6th and Cherokee streets. Scheidt said that building has been vacant for about 10 years.
“But we’ve seen some interest in it recently,” she said. “It’s a great location.”