The Chaska Herald published the first in a series of “Downtown Turnaround” editorials and touches mostly on Highways 41 and 212, biking trails and handicap accessibilities.
Here’s my point of view:
Downtown Chaska may have utilitarian issues like unnavigable curbs and uncrossable streets. We may have empty storefronts on mainstreet and foreclosed homes throughout the community. We may have a river we can’t enjoy and a potential highway through our baseball stadium.
But I think the more pressing issue — arguably easier, faster and cheaper easier to address — is Chaska’s brand.
Frankly, Chaska has an identity crisis. In my new resident experience, unfamiliar outsiders think Chaska is either another yuppie Eden Prairie or a rural ghost town. Many don’t even know Chaska has a historic district.
Our brand is disjointed, contradictory and sometimes counter intuitive.
Who are we, my beloved downtown Chaska, and how is that communicated to potential businesses, patrons and residents? What are we selling and who do we want living and shopping here?
Let’s settle on our brand. Then let’s work together to set the measurable objectives to turn downtown around strategically.