Inspire • Equip • Restore

Developing Thriving Downtown Communities

Matt, Amanda, and Isaiah Orcutt are some of my favorite people. They are proof that downtown revitalization is far more than just restoring buildings...It is about people. When I say, "The best way to bring life downtown is to bring lives downtown," the Orcutts are a prime example of that statement. When my partners and I were looking to restore some of our first buildings in Siloam Springs, the Orcutts approached me with some crazy ideas. "We want to sell our house in the neighborhoods and move into a loft downtown. We want to buy it. And Amanda wants to open a vintage clothing store right next to Christina's Art Gallery..." Something like that. The Orcutts were the true pioneers of the downtown revitalization effort in Siloam Springs. They took a huge risk, selling a home that had guaranteed equity, and most certainly would continue to have increased value over time, and decided to do what no one had done in Siloam Springs history. They purchased a second story loft, not the whole building. They made it possible for us to restore the downstairs building into a cool flower shop, while having selling the upstairs to them as their home. Their son, Isaiah, was just a little boy at the time, around three years old. I remember asking her about a yard for him to play in, "We have the biggest yard in town," said Amanda. "We live right across the street from the park! And we don't even have to mow it!!"

To date their loft is still one of my favorites of all I have built or designed. I think it is because of them.It just feels good every time I enter it. Although Amanda no longer has her vintage store, she is still very involved with the downtown, even working across the street! On any given evening you can find them walking downtown, visiting with neighbors or enjoying The Creekside Taproom or Ash & Ember. And if you're really fortunate, you may even find Matt and I brewing world class beer on the deck from their loft overlooking Sager Creek. Stop by, enjoy an ice cold Mateo and Ronnie's "Rip Your Shorts IIPA." You'll have to ask Isaiah where that name came from, of course that's another story.