Antigo craft store could be moving after rent disagreement - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Antigo craft store could be moving after rent disagreement

A Langlade County shop will close its doors on Friday. But store leaders said they hope this won't be the end of their business.

The Langlade County Boys and Girls Club and the Ye Olde Craft Shoppe share a spot between 6th and 7th Avenue in Antigo. One serves the young. The other -- the elderly. And a generation gap isn't the only thing dividing them.

"We tried to do as much as we could but there's no way we could increase our prices to the amount that would cover $250 per month," said Ye Olde Craft Shoppe co-chair Laurel O'Brien.

O'Brien said Boys and Girls Club leaders asked the crafters to pay $250 a month for rent. But that's a price tag they can't afford.

"They don't get out and run marathons and things like that to keep in shape," said O'Brien. "They've got to have something that keeps their mind and their hands busy and keeps them feeling like they have some purpose."

Officials with the Boys and Girls Club refused to comment. But the previous owner shed some light on why the club may be raising the rent.

"We were spending, all told, with all the utilities, about $45,000 a year," said Langlade County Corporation Counsel Robin Stowe. "And that doesn't count that in any given year, if there was a certain major repair or a capital improvement project that was scheduled, that would really raise the cost even more."

In September of 2010, Langlade County sold the property to the Boys and Girls Club for $1. The shop was already there.

"Fortunately when the Boys and Girls Club came to the table and we worked out a deal, everybody thought that this could work," said Stowe. "I still think it could work. It's just that I know that the Boys and Girls Club is legitimately concerned about what is the craft shop costing them now?"

The crafters say they're packing up. They plan to close their doors Friday and will look to set up shop somewhere else. But county leaders hope there may still be time for a compromise.

Stowe said he plans to meet up with leaders from both groups in the next week or so in hopes of working out an arrangement.

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