The Bowman County Development Corporation (BCDC) applied for a Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) from Rural Development an agency of the USDA. The grant application amount was $50,000 and would be used to conduct a feasibility study on the Sears Building. ABLE, Inc. is interested in expanding their retail operations and feels the Sears Building would be a perfect fit. If awarded the BCDC would be responsible for managing and conducting the feasibility study.
The Sears Building, of which this feasibility study would be performed, is located within very close proximity to the existing ABLE, Inc. building. ABLE, Inc. has interest in purchasing, renovating and expanding business operations into the Sears Building.
This building is a landmark in the community of Bowman that was constructed in 1908. It is the only three-story building located on Bowman’s Main Street. Most recently the Sears Building was occupied by a Mexican Restaurant, then previously furniture resale and still contains two floors with apartment occupied rental units. Currently, this three story building houses a bomb shelter in the basement, commercial restaurant space on the main floor and six apartments on the second and third floors. The building has an elevator shaft but no functioning elevator.
The study would include two phases. Phase I would focus on the structural and contractual assessment of the building to determine the building’s capability of once again serving as a retail space. Phase II would include a feasibility study of the business expansion opportunities using information obtained through a community needs assessment.