It was an awesome turn out Saturday. Thank you so much for so many smiles, hugs and yes, even the tears. On the surface the argument made is your lease is up and not getting renewed. Under the surface this is about a community striving to be better, to offer choices, and be the city that represents its residents values for recreation and lifestyle.
Here is another way of looking at it…if you want foot traffic, don’t shoot the foot that has been bringing foot traffic for 35 years. Milford Skating Center can move, just like any other business. I get it. While the rest of the country is trying to lower crime rates, change the habits of our youth so the obesity epidemic lessens, and bring families/visitors/foot traffic to their downtowns….where is Milford. Another restaurant just announced they “will be” purchasing the bank. Sometimes you want to have dinner and entertainment without the children…where could you be taking them…around the corner to Milford Skating Center…where you are just a walk away. Children enjoying an evening of fun while their parents enjoy a great meal in a walkable downtown. Families are already doing this with their children. To think the skating center will be replaced with office space, seems awful selfish of adults. Who is speaking for the children…well it should be the adults.
A well rounded downtown is what everyone dreams about, something for everyone to participate in/ enjoy/ and want to come back to time and again. That is why #skating matters. I know legally the city cannot decide what the building owner does, but as representatives of the residents and of their own plan for revitalization, their words, influence, and partnerships should surely see the benefits of the skating center remaining outweighs the desire for more offices downtown…or are they willing to sacrifice a family’s option for recreation and the foot traffic and the add-on dollars when the children are dropped off and a minority owned business that was established 35 years in the same location… for more office space. More than 20,000 visitors/skaters/residents a year, come through the doors, park downtown, enjoy and make memories as a family in Milford Skating Center. Average price $5 per visit, for 35 years, invested in jobs for youth, invested in recreation for youth, invested in seniors and exercise enthusiasts. What does the office space have that we don’t, higher rent opportunity, services the city can use, more jobs, less foot traffic? #skating matters for today’s youth and tomorrow’s youth just as much as it has for the youth the past 35 years.
Just a few months ago, the City of Milford, led by Mayor Bryan Shupe, adopted a revitalization plan presented by a firm of which was paid to assemble the community and create a vision, a master plan. In that plan, Milford Skating Center and Park Avenue were mentioned. A façade change, not a repurposing of the building. The architectural and design firm, Davis Bowen & Friedel were also mentioned, referred to as DBF. The use of the building was suggested to create retail on the front of the building. As you know to remove office space means less office space…unless there is more room in the same building….the Milford Skating Center. Clearly, this cannot happen. It is more than just space and a lease it is our children’s safe place, fun place, our grandparents safe place to walk, our Moms and Dads fun place to exercise, it is a physical activity for the whole family and a recreational option not available everywhere.
This is the email sent today to city officials regarding the current matter:
Save Milford Skating Center!
Dear City Manager, Mayor and City Council Members:
I am writing to ask for your support of a locally owned business that is loosing its lease. This minority owned business is located in the heart of downtown. The very downtown you are trying to revitalize. The very downtown you want to attract more foot traffic to for more revenue and investment. This center also services our children’s need for recreation options already severely limited in the city. It also serves as a safe place to walk for our seniors and an exercise venue for the latest craze. The center also hosts roller derby bouts, a fun and exciting sport on roller skates.
A few months ago you adopted a plan that specifically named Milford Skating Center as needing a façade change only. Pay close attention to pages 23, 28 and 29. Now the building owner does not want to renew the lease as prescribed in the lease for an additional five years. Your Master Plan will no longer exist and at the expense of the children and families of all shapes, sizes, and cultural backgrounds in Milford AND surrounding communities.
Save Milford Skating Center! Your Master Plan included Milford Skating Center! #skating matters A friend of Milford Skating Center began a petition that has amassed over 1,200 signatures noting the community is in favor of saving Milford Skating Center.
Please write a letter of support for Milford Skating Center and forward to Silicato Development at firstname.lastname@example.org We want Davis Bowen & Friedel to stay in the City …but not by shutting down the skating center downtown. Please offer assistance to Davis, Bowen & Freidel to relocate in a more suitable location like the old fire house which currently is renovated for office space and is at the end of the street that is still encompassed in the Master Plan.
Many of you were asking for contact information. The City of Milford adopted the Downtown Revitalization Master Plan in April. Silicato Development owns the building.
Here is what we could find on their websites:
Silicato Development, Dennis Silicato, email@example.com
|City Manager, Eric Norenberg
City of Milford Mayor, Bryan Shupe
Arthur J. Campbell Ward One firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher H. Mergner Ward One email@example.com
James F. Burk Ward Two JBurk@milford-de.gov
Lisa Ingram Peel Ward Two firstname.lastname@example.org
Owen S. Brooks Jr. Ward Three email@example.com
Douglas E. Morrow Sr., Vice Mayor Ward Three firstname.lastname@example.org
Katrina E. Wilson Ward Four email@example.com
We do celebrate every stride the Mayor and City Council are making to make Milford better; however, #skating matters too.