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Macomb Downtown Development Leader Leaves for New Job

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There are six vacant storefronts on the Macomb Courthouse Square, and now a position charged with filling those buildings is also vacant.

Sarah Wallick resigned as Community Outreach Coordinator for the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Corporation. She will begin work in early September as the Logan County Tourism Director.

Wallick said it might not be easy to get businesses into the vacant storefronts in downtown Macomb because some of the buildings need expensive repairs, others are too small or too large for most businesses, and a few have layouts that benefit only certain types of retailers.

“A lot of times what you will get is even though you would like the business to go downtown it’s just not a realistic space for them to go in,” Wallick said.

The square once housed numerous retailers, but now the downtown storefronts are mostly occupied by service businesses along with a couple restaurants and bars.

Wallick said that can be somewhat problematic.

“Ideally what you really want is for people to come down and go to multiple stores,” Wallick said. “If you are going down there for a service basically you are going down there to get your service and then leave, in most cases.

"What they really want is for people to stay downtown for longer.”

Wallick said she would enjoy seeing more retail businesses that cater to children and families open on the courthouse square.

Emily Boyer is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.