HUACHUCA CITY — For the past two Saturdays, community members and volunteers have gathered at a Huachuca City property, once considered a blight on the town, to help enhance its appearance and prepare it for sale or lease.

The group transformed the Dusk till Dawn building, a former cabaret located in lower Huachuca City, from what business owner Jim Goad describes as a “grotesque dark red color” to much more appealing desert tones. Goad, who owns Huachuca City-based business Mr. Shed, organized the project, purchased the paint and supplies and paid his employees to help with the work.

The town of Huachuca City purchased the Dusk till Dawn property in 2019 as a resolution to a lawsuit, and now council members and town officials hope to sell or lease it.

“Repainting the building was fundamental in trying to get the building sold, but the town did not have the money or personnel to do that,” Goad said. “That’s why I decided to help. We had the equipment, skills and manpower to go in there and do the job.”

Goad paid five employees to work on the project Sept. 5, and four were at the site on the following Saturday to finish the job. Members of the town council and community volunteered to help. Huachuca City public works employees helped worked on the project as well.

In addition to painting the building, a solid, metal-based stage was demolished and removed with the help of Goad’s forklift and a tremendous amount of manpower.

“We are so grateful to Jim Goad for offering to do this for the town, and we’re grateful to his employees who are here working on this building,” Huachuca City Interim City Manager Suzanne Harvey said last Saturday while watching the demolition. “The property has a lot of potential, and these improvements are going to help get it sold.”

Building Official Jim Johnson echoed those comments.

“I’m thankful that Mr. Goad stepped up and offered to do this,” Johnson said. “He donated the paint, equipment and manpower for the project, and all the people involved did a beautiful job on that building. It completely changed the building’s appearance,” he said.

“Along with Mr. Goad’s employees, we had local volunteers, council members and public works employees who helped out with the project. This was a great community effort involving a business owner, local residents, employees and council members.”

Robert and Jessica Smith and their 9-year-old son, Robbie, a Huachuca City School fourth-grader, were among the volunteers last Saturday.

“We’re new to Huachuca City, and when we saw this community work project on Facebook, we wanted to help,” Jessica Smith said. “It’s exciting to see how much better the building looks, and we’re not even done yet.”

Some of the ideas for the building’s future uses that councilmembers Christy Hirshberg and Cynthia Butterworth tossed around include a daycare center, grocery store, restaurant, winery with a tasting gallery and event venue.

“I look forward to seeing what kind of business moves in here,” Butterworth said.

It took 110 gallons of paint to cover the 3,200-square-foot building as well as the eight-foot wall that surrounds a 2,800-square-foot patio.

“It was a great team effort, with everyone working well together to accomplish a common goal,” Goad said after the work was done. “We were able to transform a community eyesore into an attractive property that will help attract potential buyers. Now we wait and see what happens.”

Well known for his community outreach efforts, Goad started his Huachuca City business 30 years ago because he believed the town’s location would have tremendous potential for attracting new businesses.

“The problem is, there are a few property owners who have failed in their responsibility to maintain their properties,” he said. “The new businesses that have started up in Huachuca City in recent years have done a tremendous job of improving existing properties.”

“However, I believe that the eyesores along Huachuca Boulevard should have been addressed by the town’s officials years ago,” he added.

Goad attends most town council meetings and sometimes speaks during the call to the public. Several years ago, he launched Friends of Huachuca City, which he describes as “a group of concerned nonpartisan citizens whose only agenda is to clean up the town through enforcement of city codes and state laws.”

While quick to praise improvements he sees throughout the town, Goad also points to areas that could use more work.

“The town is making progress, but there’s still a lot more that needs to be done,” he said. “I just wish code enforcement could move along a little quicker for the sake of the businesses and people who live in Huachuca City.”