Mike Rose shows the Harborfront Lodge design that was modeled after the Victory Hotel on Put-in-Bay.
At the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation (OCIC) quarterly trustee meeting held Wednesday, June 18, at Schedel Gardens and Arboretum in Elmore, Mike Rose, CEO of Washington Properties, gave a special presentation to board members. OCIC has helped with the EPA soil assessment of Waterworks Park and, with the help of First Energy, completed an economic impact study of the development and revitalization of Waterworks Park and downtown Port Clinton.
“We have asked Mr. Rose here today so we can see where our time and money are looking to be invested,” said OCIC Director Jamie Beier-Grant.
“It’s been two years since we (Washington Properties) have been invited to take a look at Port Clinton,” said Rose. “There’s a number of communities calling us to come look at their communities. We see the potential, energy and drive in the community to move forward.”
In his presentation, Rose explained the importance of revitalizing the downtown as well as developing Waterworks Park.
“We can make the buildings look nice, but we had to ask what could be the anchor of economic development, so we took a look at the Waterworks Park property,” said Rose.
Rose explained that the potential plan is to make Port Clinton pedestrian friendly. The intent is that people, locals and tourists, will want to walk around town, frequent the businesses, and visit the lodge and amenities at Waterworks Park. The development of the park will only be utilizing 15% of the green space and will remain open to the public, which was an original concern that Washington Properties received from public input.
“The people are excited and the grant money is a great component of moving forward with the project,” said Rose. The grant money that Rose is referring to is the Small Cities Grant that the City of Port Clinton received last Wednesday from the Ohio Department of Transportation for the sum of $2.34 million dollars for repairs and revitalization of downtown. “The downtown and waterfront can work together to make this project a success,” said Rose.
The next step
“Economic development works at glacial speeds,” said Beier-Grant.
It is critical now that Washington Properties and the City of Port Clinton get into an agreement to move forward.
“The Small Cities Grant was extremely important in the success of the downtown,” said Rose. “We look forward to continuing talks with the City.”
Rose said that the projected time to start the project is still spring of 2015.