What should go in the former Faces storefront in Northampton?

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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A familiar storefront in downtown Northampton has attracted a lot of attention over the last few days–not from window shoppers but from brainstormers.

Passersby have been filling out sticky notes with their ideas for what should take over the former Faces store at 175 Main Street. It’s unclear who started the project, but dozens have already decorated the windows with their ideas:

I wish this was a……

  • Dog/cat cafe
  • Grocery store
  • Wine bar
  • Flea market
  • Diva’s
  • Police sub station
  • Cheap clothing store
  • Recovery center
  • Food co-op
  • Seafood restaurant
  • Gluten-free bakery
  • Book store
  • Art/music therapy center
  • Faces
  • Gay bar
  • Dunkin’
  • Dance club
  • Boxing club
  • Rodent rescue
  • The Living Room Noho (homeless community center)
  • Healthy living workshop group
  • Gay karaoke bar
  • Dollar store
  • Maker space
  • Candy shop
  • Strip club for transgenders
  • Gay book store
  • Late night eatery
  • Harry Potter merch store
  • Dachshund play date party house
  • Target
  • Sam’s
  • Pygmy Goat petting zoo
  • Yoga/holistic health clinic
  • Church
  • Cinema

John Cummings was walking down the street when the colorful sticky notes caught his eye. He’d like to see the space turned into a resource center for the homeless.

“There’s a lot of people on these streets that need help, and there’s not enough places in this town for it,” Cummings said. “A recovery center would be good, or some place they can stay in the winter time so they can be off the streets, because in the summer time it’s alright. But when the weather gets cold like it’s supposed to be, it’d be a nice place for a shelter.”

Richard Paiva told 22News he also wants to see the space converted into a center for the homeless, modeled after The Living Room in Springfield.

“They could come in here and mingle, have coffee, have conversation, and more or less where they can rest their backpacks and all their personal belongings.”

Seth Gregory stopped to read some of the sticky notes while riding his bike downtown. He said there’s a lot of conversation going on about who can afford to be downtown and what kinds of things the city needs. The building is listed for sale at $4.1 million, according to Colebrook Realty Services.

“You would expect something commercial to go into this space,” Gregory said. “I’m sure it’s an expensive space, but it’s always exciting to think about how a nonprofit, the city, or even a business, could occupy a space like that and do something more in response of community need.”

No matter what ends up going in the old Faces storefront, Gregory said he just likes to see everyone getting involved.

“I think bottom line it’s just good to see people casting a wide net and dreaming big and bringing in ideas from all different kinds of people,” Gregory said.

Related: Iconic Northampton store, Faces, officially closed

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