Tanner Ott and his father, John, have made a career rehabbing historic buildings through Alley A Realty. Their work renovating and developing properties and then leasing them to entrepreneurs, restaurants, artists, and professionals help to create vibrant communities and bring life back to buildings with a history. They are currently working to restore and preserve some of Ely's most unique and historically significant downtown buildings.
If you could have a conversation with anyone - past or present - who would it be?
Dr. Anterro Ferdinand Tanner - he built the infamous "Castle" for his hospital in Ely in 1903. It's been sitting vacant for a few decades and we are now putting a redevelopment plan together. The socialist leaning shoemaker apprentice A.F. Tanner immigrated from Finland to America at the turn of century. Through his writings and sketches, it is clear he was a free thinker and an innovator at heart. Eventually, he became a doctor and moved to Ely where his personality lives on at the Tanner Hospital.
What attributes connect you to your purpose?
Being a good listener. Engaging with the community to discover what's important to them guides our effort. There are many perspectives to keep in mind - between the preservationists, tenants, banks, and the contractors. My part is to listen to all of them and create a place with historic integrity, that the community enjoys, where entrepreneurs
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