The Highland Chamber of Commerce recently announced the sale of its landmark building on Main Street, which closed on January 23.
That building was gifted to the Chamber 24 years ago by First National Bank of Highland.
Several other businesses and organizations were housed in the building, including the Highland Area Community Foundation, Leaps of Love, The Highland Lions Club, and Highland Printers, and others over the years.
“The donation of the old National Bank Building in 1993 was such a blessing for the Chamber at the time,” said Chamber President Tina Frank, “we were able to be located downtown and on the square in a very prominent area. It gave us the ability to house businesses and organizations that were in different stages of their business life.”
“We are trying to be good stewards of the organization, and a building of this size and age needs a for profit owner who can invest the necessary funds to maintain it properly,” said Executive Director Nancie Zobrist. “As an organization we had to decide if we wanted to continue pouring money into this building that is larger than we need, or to find a space that is more indicative of the Chamber of today and the Chamber of the future. When we received the building in 1993, a chamber was more about the actual building.” said Zobrist.
“It seems that time is becoming the most precious commodity of today’s economy. The Chamber needs to respond to the shifting needs of our members. That means going out to our members and finding new ways to train, network, and meet their needs through other resources that the 21st Century offers. We will always be about relationships, connecting businesses to the community, and strengthening our local economy, we will just be using different methods.”
The terms of the recent sale and identity of the buyer have not announced, but Zobrist said as far as she knows their plans call for the building to be reused.
The Chamber staff and board of directors have thanked all of the businesses that have donated time, talents and treasures to help maintain the building over the last 20+ years.
“I can only image all of the memories that this building holds, from the days when the Jaycees held a haunted house in the basement to the previous Executive Director Jami Jansen organizing the design and installation of the stained glass window at the front of the building. It will be both a sad and an exciting occasion when we move.” Said Zobrist, “While we will miss all the old memories we will be making new ones going forward. The Chamber will still be working to grow and help sustain businesses, we will still be an advocate for them, we will still have a welcome center, and we will always be supporting our community.”
“We have chosen a new space that is still in downtown and are excited to announce that it is large enough that the Community Foundation is able to remain our ‘Office Mate’”.
The Highland Chamber of Commerce recently announced their plans to move their offices to 1216 Main Street in Highland. Frey Properties, a longtime chamber member, owns the property. “We are so excited to work with Gayle Frey and his company as we renovate this space to fit the needs of the Chamber and the Highland Area Community Foundation,” said Nancie Zobrist, Executive Director of the Highland Chamber. “I was so excited when I first toured this space. The structure lends itself so seamlessly to hosting both the Chamber and the Foundation.” The Chamber and the Foundation have been located across the hallway from each other for over a decade.
When asked about a move date Zobrist said May 1, 2018 was their targeted date. “This is a LARGE building with decades worth of memories, paperwork, decorations, etc. We’ll be taking this opportunity to evaluate what we’ve accumulated in the past 24 years and determine what we need to move with us. We also want to give our community organizations time to come and claim their materials that have been stored here over the years.”
Organizations that may have items stored in the Chamber building at 907 Main Street can call the Chamber office at 618-654-3721 to schedule a time to gather their items.