22 January 2011
New Year, New Challenges
It has been a month since the Blackbird Station vacated the depot, discouraging both the tenants and the HPG about business potential at the site. Tenants Julie Kerr and Karen Rohn, owners of Blackbird Station, pointed to the lousy economy as reasons to pull the plug after barely six months in operation.
Yet there is still reason to look ahead to good possibilities for the restored depot, and HPG members are exploring a range of options. One angle is the continuing discussions on new uses for the old millsite. Potlatch Corporation shut down the mill 30 years ago this year, and officially wrote the obituary on the sawmill in 1983, dismantling the entire operation. Yet the huge lumber company is actually talking to a group about potential tenants on the property. The old millsite is after all one of the largest commercial properties available in the county, and if it is developed, the depot is the prime location for a variety of business uses. HPG President Jack Coyner is part of the monthly discussion group on the millsite, and Latah County Economic Development head Aimee Shipman is ready to roll on a feasibility study for the grounds. HPG board member and local banker Kenny Cada has been directly involved in making the selection for the feasibility study contractors. More information will be available soon.
Since the depot is no longer hosting a business, the regularly-scheduled bus stop has been moved to Dad's Diner on Highway 95.