Where vision becomes reality

Published 10:12 am Thursday, February 26, 2009

The latest Main Street Project renovation downtown is almost wrapped up.

Innovision Eyecare, 318 North Main St. is nearly complete. A few finishing touches remain — new windows on the second story and some cornice work — and will be completed when the weather is warmer.

Dr. Gareth Hataye, optometrist and co-owner with his wife, Alaina, decided to include themselves in the many businesses who have utilized the Main Street Project program to renovate their building exteriors.

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“It’s not a historical renovation, so it was more flexible,” Hataye explained of his more urban facade, which was approved by a Main Street Project committee.

An architect with The Joseph Co., along with Hataye’s sister-in-law, designed the concept for the renovation. Innovision is also newly decorated with fresh, bold paint on the inside as well. Hataye said brick was found in good condition underneath the tin exterior.

The building, formerly part of the Wallace’s department store, was another optical business and a health club in the past, Hataye said. The second story, now vacant with no utilities, was formerly a dental office.

A native of Hawaii, Hataye made his way to Minnesota after meeting his wife — also an optometrist — while going to college in Oregon.

Alaina hails from Fargo, N.D. and has relatives in the Austin area, one reason why the couple moved here.

They bought their current building in 1994, and the office employs three staff. They also have an Innovision office in Albert Lea.

Innovision provides comprehensive exams, contact lens fittings and glasses. They also treat eye diseases and other conditions.

Innovision Eyecare is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call (507) 437-7768 or visit www.innovisioneyecare.com.