Tim Davis of the city staff said it was no secret of the massive turnover in the center “from its glory days to what it is now.”
Meeting participants broke into nine groups to talk about the center and surrounding area that includes smaller strip centers with offices for medical and other services. Some are in use, others vacant. The participants were asked to list what is working well in the area, what isn’t working well and what the priority areas should be moving forward.
Input was received before the community meeting through a survey available through Survey Monkey. More than 200 people took part in the survey, said Joe Nickol of MKSK Studios.
In that survey, 97 percent “said they avoid the Sherwood area because of the sense of emptiness” it projects, he said.
During the next 120 days, there also will be idea testing, said Nickol. The testing of recommendations will follow review of input received from the meeting, data compiled on demographics and other details yet to be collected.
Another public meeting would be held in January before consultants finalize their report for the city probably by March. The city is paying around $45,000 for the study.
Meeting participants said overall, they like the Needler’s Market, formerly Marsh, that is in the center main building along with the neighborhood feel of the nearby area. The other business in the center is the recently opened Back Door Smoke House and Grill.
Those participating in the discussion said they would like more places to eat and for people with young children to go nearby and the return of once local businesses including a pharmacy, hardware and movie theater.
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