Pizza ... with no graffiti, please

The Intelligencer
W. Brice McVicar,

 The local real estate salesman is all too aware of how important the appearance of a building can be for potential investors, whether they plan to buy that building or one in the immediate vicinity.

That’s why, two weeks ago, McEvoy spent his own money and time painting the wall of a building he neither owns nor plans to sell.

The north wall of Jim’s Pizzeria on Front Street is one McEvoy drives by every day as he makes his way to his office. That wall, for some time, featured a range of graffiti paintings.

“I had a pharmacist coming into the downtown looking for a location here and they pointed it out.

“I explained it’s a maintenance issue and people have to run their business but, at the end of the day, I had the same questions in my mind,” McEvoy said.

Prompted by the question, McEvoy approached the building’s owner and offered to cover up the graffiti himself. With consent given and a can of paint, McEvoy spent “about 15 minutes” on a Sunday morning covering the graffiti.

He shrugged off the action but noted he has, in the past, paid to have windows washed on buildings downtown to give potential buyers a better impression of the core.

“I’m down here every day and it’s the kind of thing to do every once in awhile,” he said. “It’s something I wouldn’t mind doing again because it’s something people seem to respond to pretty well.”

Peter Berry, an employee at Jim’s Pizzeria, said the core needs more people like McEvoy.

“It’s too bad a lot more people wouldn’t do that,” he said. “It can cost a fortune to get it covered over because that wall’s stucco but it’s great he’d do that.”

Berry said he noticed the graffiti at the pizzeria but had never considered covering it himself. An act of goodwill, like McEvoy’s, is appreciated.

“The only way to get rid of it means cost out of your own pocket or have someone like Tom come along and do it,” he said.

McEvoy said he’s happy to do his part and he’s hoping others may take up his initiative.

“It’s something that’s bothered me for a long time,” McEvoy said. “I just thought that actions speak louder.”

McEvoy said the appearance of the core does play a vital role in his job and he’s heard complaints from potential buyers.

“For them it’s a visual inspection. They get the feel of downtown and they don’t spend a lot of time here so things like that really impact their perception of whether they should be investing in the city or not.”

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