Leading Tone has outgrown its current space at 3404 NE 55th Street and needs a new home in order to better serve the community. Since opening a year ago we have realized that there is great demand for a quality music store in our neighborhood and we have become well known for our quality instruments, superior service and competent repair and set-up shop. We have also heard from teachers, students and local artists that there is a great need for quality lesson space (for musicians of all skill levels) as well as venues for new local artists to perform. Having young children ourselves, we are very cognizant of the reduced funding for musical arts in our local schools and would like to see increased neighborhood resources to make up for some of that.
With just a little over 800 square feet in our current location, we are busting at the seams and we have been eyeing former Fire Station 38 as a perfect building for our business. However, there are challenges: The property is currently zoned for residential multi- family, and it’s a designated historical building. Luckily, we love the look of the building for a music store (and don’t intend to change it) and rezoning should not be a problem as long as the neighborhood welcomes us. We know that neighbors are likely to be concerned about increased traffic and parking issues that might come with a move to commercial zoning. We believe we can mitigate any parking burden on the neighborhood with good signage and training our staff to direct people appropriately. The fire station has a small alley parking lot in addition to a couple of parking spaces in front and street parking on NE 55th. Since we do not currently have any off-street parking at our location, this would give us more than 4 times the parking space than we currently have. Because of this, we do not foresee any increased burden to the neighborhood, even allowing for lesson traffic!
Allowing Leading Tone to purchase the Fire Station from the city will be a great benefit to the neighborhood. As the schools struggle to meet heavy space and budget requirements, music and the arts are being cut out of curriculum. We want to ensure our neighborhood kids have access to quality musical instruction and supplies. The Fire Station will have more than enough room for lesson space, workshops and small neighborhood concerts on the weekends. If allowed to purchase the property, we would love to sponsor the annual 4th of July Parade and block party that has been a long-standing tradition in the Bryant neighborhood, as well as host other neighborhood events throughout the year. We live in Bryant and plan on raising our kids here, so we have a vested interest in the quality of our community. We genuinely want to be an asset to the area.
This post is being sent out to solicit comments (positive, negative or simply constructive) from the neighborhood so they can be presented to the City Council on Tuesday, September 6, 2011. Please send your comments and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also welcome to attend the meeting and give your comments in person. It is our hope that, with enough public support from the neighborhood, the City Council will issue a Change of Use to allow Leading Tone to purchase the building for the purpose of relocating.
Thank you for your time, and we hope to hear from you soon!