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Enzo, downtown seeing facelifts

September 8, 2018

Downtown renovations continue on and off the brick streets.

At Enzo Athletic Performance, 206 N. Jeffers St., owners Kayla and Jason Jensen have nearly completed a restoration project.

This included gutting a former restaurant space, installing garage doors to replace the front windows, and other remodeling including new ceilings and concrete floors at what was formerly Midwest Screen Print and Pink Poodle restaurant. This made space for personal training classes and private sessions for youths and adults.

“Jason and our gym members did 95 percent of the interior,” Kayla said, adding that a lot of the help came from those who work at Union Pacific Railroad.

The couple moved their gym from West A Street a little more than a year ago for the added space and have seen an increase in members since, Kayla said.

Something that hasn’t been an issue at the new location is parking, Kayla said. In 2006, the former owners of the screenprint shop ended up in a legal dispute with Allen Fugate, a lawyer who works nearby and owns a neighboring parking area.

Kayla said as she and Jason planned to move into the space, many people asked whether they would have issues. Instead, they’ve found a “good neighbor” relationship with the lawyer, she said.

“We don’t use his parking,” Kayla said.

She added that Fugate has offered to lease some of his parking space to the Enzo Athletic Performance, but the couple doesn’t see a need for it.

Fugate confirmed this.

“Jason and Kayla are great,” he said. “We’ve had a really good relationship. Really good neighbors to have.”

Fugate called the legal dispute, which was settled out of court, “unfortunate,” and said he’s glad it’s in the past. The key to positive relationships, he said, is communication, something the Jensen couple initiated, he said.

Farther downtown on the bricks, replacements to the canopies that were torn down can be seen popping up, slowly but surely. The Flower Market, 510 N. Dewey St., expected new awnings to be installed by the end of the day Friday. The upstairs space of the building is mostly used for storage, but windows were replaced there as well.

This included replacing a window advertising Dr. Josiah B. Redfield’s office, which once stood in the downtown of old, said Sarah Talbott, owner of the Flower Market. The windows were not tossed out, but were not in good enough condition to stay where they were.

“There will be a replica” in the future, which she hopes to display somewhere in her shop, she said.

Talbott also found stained-glass windows during the renovation. Research from the North Platte Public Library indicates that the windows are likely at least 100 years old. Like the other vintage windows, “we couldn’t use them in their original way,” Talbott said.

Still, the windows are being restored, and Talbott also hopes to frame and hang them in her shop window to keep a piece of downtown’s history alive.

At 104 E. Fifth St., Excel Screenprint is also awaiting awnings, which will double as a sign featuring the business’s name.

“We’re hoping very soon,” said Barb Wagner, office manager. “We’re praying before winter.”

Wagner and Talbott both urged residents to have patience as they drive downtown.

“It’s going to take some time to get everything in place,” Wagner said. “You don’t want to just slap something on there.”

One thing that remains to be seen is what will happen with vacant buildings. City Planning Administrator Judy Clark said the city has sent letters to owners of those buildings, though she wasn’t sure how many vacancies there are or how many had replied.

While the city would eventually take action on inactive owners of vacant buildings, there is no specific action planned for the immediate future, Clark said.

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