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Downtown revitalization presented to council Featured

Downtown plan for Madison Street.

On Wednesday, March 26, Poggemeyer Design Group presented their renderings for the revitalization of downtown Port Clinton. Poggemeyer has met with council two times prior and spoke with citizens at those meetings to get their ideas of what they would like to see in the downtown area. With these latest renderings that have been presented, Poggemeyer has taken design, organization, promotion, and economic structuring into consideration. This particular meeting was focused on design.

Even though the meeting focused on design, Lauren Falcone and Greg Telecky, representatives from Poggemeyer, gave a brief finding of the market study of the area done by Boulevard Strategy out of Columbus. The market study found that manufacturing, medical, service, and food were the growing areas of industry in the area; the highest being food service. Poggemeyer also found that the office market is shrinking, but the medical industry of the area is growing.

“People are coming to the community,” said Falcone, “we just need to get them to stay here.”

Another bit of information they shared is that Ottawa County is losing boating sales to Erie County. Erie County is growing in the recreational industry and Ottawa County is shrinking.

“In Ottawa County, most of the business is driven by local people,” said Falcone. “We need to aim towards locals and then to the tourists.”

Falcone explained that their findings were people of the area want coffee shops, social venues and restaurants.

“We need to give them what they need to do what they want,” said Falcone. 

Overview of the downtown proposed projects as presented by Poggemeyer.

Before Poggemeyer went into the design portion, they touched on the organization and promotion aspects of the plan. Falcone explained that they are looking towards Main Street Port Clinton for help with that.

“We are taking events you already have and plan on making them better,” said Falcone.

When the design portion of the meeting started Mayor Leone was invited up to talk a little bit about the rendering that was presented. He had four main points:

•“We are waiting for the call from the Army Corp of Engineers about the preserve on Perry Street. They’re not spending all that money on design for nothing.”
•“Everything must happen together all at once.”
•“We need to set the stage of the downtown to be welcoming.”
•“The anchors that Rose proposed (development of the park and revitalization of downtown) are vital. It’s like going to the mall and their being a Macy’s on one end and a Penny’s on the other.”

After the mayor spoke, Telecky started to explain the rendering further. The rendering was a conceptual drawing of downtown Madison Street. The plan is to totally replace all infrastructure; water, sewer and storm drainage. There will be a reconstruction of the entire street. The sidewalks are proposed to be widened to accommodate for outdoor dining and more foot traffic. Street lighting will be changed and there will be planters throughout the area. 

“It will get a complete facelift,” said Telecky.

A kiosk is also proposed for north Madison Street. Poggemeyer suggested the kiosk because once someone is downtown they’ll know exactly where to go. The angle of the parking is also planned to change for more space.

Drawing of the proposed kiosk and Ron Aukerman, Mike Snider, Margaret Phillips, Nicole DeFreitas, Jerry Tarolli and Police Chef Rob Hickman listening in the background.

The project is estimated to cost 3.5 million dollars. Poggemeyer gave a list of grant possibilities to the council. Some of the grants listed have already had applications submitted.

“We’ve never went somewhere and had this big of a list of grant opportunities,” said Falcone.

Falcone and Telecky explained that the timing of the proposed development and the other things that are happening around town (the stadium renovation, the Perry Street preserve) Port Clinton is more likely to see the grant money come through.

“It’s like the perfect storm,” said Falcone.

“We need to the two top biggest grants to do this,” said Mayor Leone. “If we would have to put more money than that into the project it would impact the day to day running of our city and we won’t do that.”

Poggemeyer said that they should know by the end of the 2014 calendar year if the project will go forward. Falcone and Telecky said that on the grant applications they are writing that the development of Waterworks Park is pending. The development is not dependent on the project, but grants are more likely if the development goes forward. 

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