John Kubal/Register: Carrot Seed Kitchen Company Owner Kirsten Gjesdal (right) and Manager Lauren Freml check out some inventory numbers at the downtown Brookings store on Main Avenue. Gjesdal is working with Downtown Brookings and the Brookings Economic Development Corporation to host a walking tour in downtown Brookings on March 27. The tour will visit about 10 available rental spaces that could house new or relocating businesses.

By: John Kubal, The Brookings Register – Updated: 22 hours ago

Posted Mar 17, 2021

‘Lots of room for new businesses’

BROOKINGS – “I’m passionate about downtown,” said Kirsten Gjesdal, owner and operator of The Carrot Seed Kitchen Co. in downtown Brookings. “I want to make sure it’s full and vibrant.”

As a step toward that “full-and-vibrant” goal, she’s working with Downtown Brookings and the Brookings Economic Development Corporation to show off available business properties downtown and provide planning information to potential new business owners. 

An event that Gjesdal, DB and BEDC have planned for March 27 is an open spaces walking tour downtown to show off those properties.

At 10 a.m. those interested in the tour will gather in front of 314 Main Ave. They will then take a “walking tour” and have the opportunity to check out about 10 rental spaces that are available in the main district of downtown Brookings. About five minutes will be spent at each space.

“That’s a very fluid number,” Gjesdal said of the number of spaces to be visited. “Because you never know if something’s going to be rented or not. We won’t have a final count until that day.”

Building owners, landlords and Realtors will be there to provide information and answer questions.

It’s like one-stop shopping: There’s no need “to make appointments with every single landlord, which can be kind of nerve wracking to reach out like that,” Gjesdal said

“This is super informal,” she explained. “Anyone who’s interested in renting a space downtown or just learning more about starting a business in Brookings is welcome to attend.

“This is actually the second time this event will be held,” she noted. “The first time was in 2017. About 15 people attended. It’s hosted when there are a lot of open rental spaces available downtown. You can see there are quite a few spaces open now, lots of room for new businesses to move in, whether they’re brand-new businesses that haven’t opened yet or someone wanting to move downtown.

“It’s totally free, no strings attached. It’s a great way to just see property, even if you have just the smallest, faintest idea of what you might want to do. It’s a great way to just get information.” 

Was the coronavirus pandemic instrumental in some of these businesses having to close their doors? 

“I think so,” Gjesdal replied. “And it could just be the propensity, the timing; but there are a number of either businesses that have closed or downsized or have moved to other locations.

“So there are some retail spaces, some office spaces, so there’s a variety of different types of spaces that are available. And I guess COVID had something to do with some of them, some of them not.”

The Carrot Seed’s present location downtown at 310 Main Ave. is a small story in itself tied to the first downtown tour in 2017. Gjesdal opened Carrot Seed in 2015 in a different location and moved it to its present location in 2017.

“This was one of the buildings that was supposed to be on the first tour,” she said, smiling and laughing. “But we ended up claiming it about a week before the tour took place.”

Contact John Kubal at jkubal@brookingsrgister.com.

Courtesy of The Brookings Register

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