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What's important about downtown?

It's a question with a thousand answers that much became apparent while writing this week's cover package (starting on p. 18).

Some want to talk about our downtown in terms of history. (This was Gen. William Jackson Palmer's "Little London"!) Others want to talk about empty storefronts. (Big City Burrito is gone!) Some say we should strive to preserve our quaint atmosphere. Others think our version of "quaint" is pathetic.

Lingering in the background of all this chatter is one big question: What's going to change this place in the coming years? Or, perhaps more to the point, is it going to change?

Now, perhaps more than any time in recent memory, it seems like something could happen downtown. That's because some new (and admittedly dull-sounding) financial subsidies may be the best developer-attracting honey this city has ever had.

That could mean lots of new buildings, even skyscrapers (seriously!). Already, we're seeing sprouts of development in the heart of the city. In the next few decades, it could experience something of a renaissance.

Or not.

Place your bets.

J. Adrian Stanley

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