Block 34 has a plan. And funding.

This is huge.

We entirely grateful to Steve and Becky Irby and Kicker for the generous monetary donation to develop this block.

We look at it everyday, so yes, in the spirit of full disclosure, we have an interest in what happens in this area.

But, more than that. This is a great gift to the entire community and its residents.

We also have a history of editorializing about that block.

One of the earlier editorials nearly six years ago now was in favor of the conference center plan. Now, Stillwater also has a convention center in the works, for the space near Duck Street where the old Maple 400 apartment complex was torn down.

At one point, when the plans had gone back to the drawing board several times, we asked why the City wouldn’t just sell to developers. The current council, city officials and Block 34 Trust were steadfast that it should be space that could serve as a public attraction.

Funding was always going to be the issue. It’s always the biggest hurdle, and Irby cleared that hurdle for the entire community. It’s a great gift.

Things are in the works, thanks to a lot of forward-thinking individuals.

Who knows what could come of this?

An increase in quality-of-life initiatives could draw business and people to Stillwater. People who want to work, live, shop and eat here, and generally make this place better for everyone.

Thanks again to Irby and family, as well as the people in the City working behind the scenes and Jim Beckstrom of the Block 34 Trust who has worked a long time to see this come to fruition.

We’re excited. We’re extremely thankful. We can’t wait to see what happens next.

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