It’s an exciting time to be a business owner in downtown Auburn. Over the last 25 years, I’ve had a front row seat to witness the changing trends, landscape renovations and aesthetic upgrades our city has undergone. With that, I’ve come to truly appreciate the potential and resilience of Auburn.
As we reach the middle of our latest renaissance, I can’t help but remember where it all started. Old-time photographs of Genesee Street from the ’70s depict four lanes of traffic and cars neatly parallel-parked. During the ’80s, downtown transitioned into two driving lanes and forward diagonal parking. And now, under regulations from a federal grant, we’ve transitioned yet again to reverse-angle parking.
As I glance out the front window of my office, I regularly see buses full of people making their way into the Auburn Public Theater for shows. Ticket sales at the theater have reached 12,000-15,000 seats annually, with 65 percent of that attendance being from people who live outside of Auburn. We’ve seen a renewed and overwhelming interest in the arts, and our many historic sites are being visited daily. With these attractions, our local breweries, restaurants and tap houses are thriving, and new businesses are seeking a downtown home.