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Olde Towne Event Center to close soon

Owner still wants to work with city

Staff writer

Property owner Gary Reiman will close Olde Town Event Center at the end of May.

Reiman, who also owns the Hillsboro Wendy’s, said he still wanted to find a way to work with Hillsboro to use the building.

“I want to use it for the city and to help the city, but the way it is working now it is more advantageous to everybody else than it is to me,” Reiman said. “I’m still looking for an opportunity to make it work. We are closing it because it is not really an event center.”

His fiancée, Caroline Von Lintel said the property cost Reiman more than it does to those who use it.

“He’s paying all the bills, all the insurance, utilities, taxes and other associated costs,” she said. “But that wouldn’t matter as much to him if someone would come in and start something there that would create jobs.”

Also having to accept liability of the building caused Reiman to re-evaluate what he wanted to do with it.

“It’s an old building, so in some ways it’s a delicate property,” Von Lintel said. “He doesn’t want anyone to potentially get hurt. Right now, it’s up for sale, for rent, or whatever. Locking it up is just cheaper until the right person or business comes along.

“I’ve known him for a long time, and Gary is a philanthropist in many ways. He just wants someone to use it and the community to benefit from it.”

Various arts and crafts people have used the building. The building also is a backup location for Hillsboro Farmers Market in case of rain. Chef Rob Scott also had used it for various events.

Former building manager Marie Kessler, who recently closed retail sales at Kessler Kreations, said building use depended on the season. Christmas season, graduation, and the Hillsboro Arts and Crafts fair are peak times.

“Maybe this will be an eye-opener for the city that something needs to be done,” Kessler said. “We’ve got to think outside of the box, and make our town a destination for something.”

However, she said, it might be hard to find someone willing to buy the building.

“Considering the economic situation we are in right now, nothing will change for the better unless we reach out and help each other,” Kessler said. “Banks are not going to loan money right now; it’s too risky. And it’s hard to start out as a young investor. Young people don’t want that kind of debt, especially if they have a family.”

Last modified May 24, 2017

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