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Highland Chamber of Commerce and Community Foundation relocating to new offices

The Highland Chamber of Commerce has announced the sale of its landmark building at 907 Main St., which closed Jan. 23.

highlandchamberlogoTerms of the sale have not been disclosed.

Twenty-four years ago, the Chamber was gifted the building at 907 Main St. from First National Bank of Highland. The building offered abundant space for the Chamber and its primary tenant, the Highland Area Community Foundation. Several business and community groups were also housed in the building, including Leaps of Love, The Highland Lions Club, and Highland Printers, as well as many 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.”

She added: “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 identity of the buyer was not announced, but Zobrist said as far as she knows the building will be reused.

The Chamber staff and board of directors would like to take this opportunity to thank 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.’.

An official move date has not been set yet. The building is being renovated to fit the exact needs of the Chamber and the Foundation. “The buyers of the building at 907 Main have worked with us to create an arrangement that allows us to remain in the building until our new home is move in ready,” said Zobrist.

While the official move date won’t be till sometime in May, preparation for the move have already begun. “As you can imagine, 24 years in the same building, especially one as big as ours, allows quite an accumulation of stuff,” said Zobrist. “We’re working on slowly boxing up the years.”
Zobrist said she’ll be contacting organizations who may have items stored in the current Chamber Building so they have amble opportunity to gather their items from the building before the big day.

The Highland Area Community Foundation will be moving with the Chamber. According to Zobrist the working relationship between the Foundation and the Chamber has been a long stand symbiotic relationship that the intend to keep. Terry Riffel, Executive Director of HACF said, “We at the Highland Area Community Foundation have a GREAT working relationship with the Chamber. We look forward to moving to a new location with the Chamber and to continue to serve Highland area residents to the best of our ability.”

The Chamber said it will announce the new location and move date soon.

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