Hudson and Essex

Hudson and Essex, located at the corner of 4th and Diamond Streets, was briefly empty before new owner, Rick Taylor bought and began renovating the space.

Editor's Note: This story is part of a month-long series that highlights 31 ideas included in the "Mansfield Rising" plan. The 67-page document was created by 15 local leaders after attending the South by Southwest Conference last March in Austin, Texas.

Idea 9: Reimagine empty storefronts

MANSFIELD -- Mansfield leaders hope to fill empty storefronts in downtown Mansfield through a "self-fulfilling prophesy."

In the "Mansfield Rising" plan, the team of 15 outlines intentions to create realistic vinyl decals that will be placed in store windows of empty businesses.

Instead of passing by empty, dirty windows, people would see the future of downtown. 

"The hope is we would see our dreams come true," the plan states. "People driving by would see the new storefronts and feel compelled to stop and look. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, entrepreneurs and developers would invest in Mansfield." 

The first step to this plan would be to create a vision for business in downtown Mansfield. The team will need to identify what type of retail stores do they need and want to bring foot traffic downtown.

Then, they would hire a local graphics company to create the vinyl decals.

The plan mentions an example of this happening in Seattle, Washington, where the Columbia City District did a similar project. Within 12 months, all of their murals were replaced with actual businesses. 

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