The SI ran a story on Melange's closing this past weekend. The thing I found notable about it was asst. city manager Kevin Baity's comment:
"It's sad to see a business close," Baity said. "We like to see our store fronts full; it adds to the vitality of downtown. One business closing is not an indicator of a trend."
But that's three long time downtown businesses that have closed up in the past year: Kaleidoscope, Booby's and now Melange, with nothing moving in to take their space. Jazzy Pops closed up after only a couple of months. Granted both Pagliai's Pizza and Jimmy John's moved to new larger locations recently, but nothing has moved into their old locations yet. The rebuilding of Hanger 9 is coming along, but still, that's a business rebuilding in its same location. I've heard talk for the past year about businesses moving into the open grassy area at E. Walnut and S. Washington for a year now, but nothing is happening. Same thing with the empty houses at the corner of S. Illinois and Mill. We're seeing businesses move out and the only businesses I've seen move into downtown in the past year have been a pair of barber shops, Kampus Kuts and Blade Kings. downtown needs a lot more than that to fill up the empty spaces.