The January 2nd Main Street Fire left a lot of damage behind to the buildings. Equally wounded are many of our downtown businesses, especially those along Main Street and the intersecting blocks between 4th and 2nd where access has been limited or entirely cut off. The Hillsboro Fire Department investigators and the team have been working feverishly with the property owner to get a schedule worked out in order to get the South facade of the Weil’s Arcade building taken down. This will allow Main Street to open to traffic and for some sort of normalcy to return to the heart of our City. Several businesses are hanging on to the point of desperation. Getting the street open and consumers coming back downtown is the key to recovery. Finally, news has come that the steps to make that happen are about to start.
From The City-1/29/22
It has been confirmed that the demolition of the Weil Arcade façade will start on Feb. 1st.
“The timeline remains the same for the demolition of the façade however the demolition plan has changed. Rather than a crane being used, crews will be setting up scaffolding today and are expected to begin removing the walls with power tools/by hand beginning tomorrow, February 2nd. If we receive any further updates.”
There are several phases that include a pause once the stability concerns are removed, and the fire cause investigation can continue. Once the investigation is complete, it becomes a debris removal project which should be a quicker process. We do not know how long this will take, we expect 1 to 3 weeks. Once we know more, we will share it with you.
This is the first step. Clearly, the entire building is coming down. But the remains of the building and all of the contents are in a heap, much of it in an old basement. This clean-up and investigation phase could take months. The most important thing is for the wall to come down so the risk of a collapse onto Main Street and the sidewalks is eliminated. Once that happens a wall can be installed and the street and sidewalks opened back up. This is good news for downtown and the prospects for recovery.
The crane that was expected today is no longer being deployed. According to Fire Marshall Downey, the adjoining buildings may be threatened by any heavy lifting or settling of the Weil’s basement area. Hand techniques for fire removal are now being used. It will take longer but be safer in the long run.
Some Grant Funds Are Now Available
News came over the weekend that the Hillsboro Community Foundation (HCF) Community Relief Fund for Business Fire Relief is now taking applications for financial assistance. Much of the money raised for fire relief is in this fund. Any business that has suffered loss of any kind tied to the fire will be able to apply.
Parameters that are being considered include-
Did the business have a loss of supplies and/or products?
Were there damages to a building their business occupied or they own?
Was there a loss of sales/income in January compared to the previous year?
Was the business required to relocate or operate remotely?
Did the business have insurance coverage?
Was there an interruption in business (days not able to operate) with direct correlation to the fire?
What is the business’s current estimated value of losses and/or damages after insurance?
What amount of donations has the business collected from the public specifically related to fire relief in 2022?
How much is the business requesting?
To apply you can go here- https://www.downtownhillsboro.org/2022weilarcadefiregrant/?mc_cid=e418dd6fd3&mc_eid=1c5bce98b2 and follow the instructions.
Art Walk Is Back
This Tuesday, Feb 1, 2022, from 5 to 8 PM come downtown and celebrate the return of First Tuesday Art Walk. Nothing will help downtown Hillsboro more than the return of Art Walk! Music, Food, Art, and great shops will welcome all comers! This is always a fun time and the merchants do an amazing job! Getting citizens back is the key to a comeback, and this is the perfect way to help out.
All of you fine folks could really make a difference in the lives and futures of so many by showing up and supporting this event and all of downtown. Grab a glass of wine, enjoy some amazing food, listen to some amazing music, and check out the art in all of these great venues! We hope to see you all there!