Best Promotion Event
Dancing on Main Street
Sponsored by the Ohio Department of Development
Downtown Amherst is a quaint town, off the beaten path, west of state route 58. As their Main Street program grew, most all of the downtown businesses became members, except for the taverns. Amherst has seven taverns within three blocks of each other.
The retailers were all asking for another special event and the organization wanted to do something for all of the downtown businesses especially the taverns. It was decided that the next event would be geared towards the taverns and it would be called “Dancing on Main Street.”
All of the tavern owners were contacted and agreed to participate. The downtown was roped off and a stage was set up in the middle of the main street. Bands played all day and night, vendors supplied food and Main Street Amherst sold beer, lots of beer.
The event has been going on 7 years now and it is the biggest night of the year for the taverns. Now, all of the taverns are members and big supporters of Main Street Amherst. Every business stays open that night and everyone makes money, including $14,000 by Main Street Amherst. This has become a signature event and unified everyone in the community.
Download more detailed information about Dancing on Main Street.
Most Creative Fundraiser
Gala of Trees
Sponsored by Sadicka and Associates
The Gala of Trees was a Christmas tree auction held at Park Place, located in the middle of Marion’s downtown, the recently renovated building serves as an anchor for Downtown Marion, Inc’s revitalization efforts. Park Place’s two sides that face the streets are all glass, and provide the perfect setting to showcase a multitude of beautifully decorated Christmas trees.
How they accomplished their project:
- Area businesses donated money to purchase the trees and decorations.
- For three days, 18 decorators from local businesses and design studios in Marion volunteered to professionally decorate the donated trees. Each tree had a different theme. Once the trees were finished, the facility was open and free to the public for viewing. Visitors were able to place Silent Bids on the tree of their choice.
- Local TV Station 22 filmed the entire event and showcased it throughout the holiday season to Marion area residents.
- The entire event netted $9,000 in income.
- The Gala from planning to implementation had 470 in-kind volunteer hours. At IRS rates for that is $9,400 in just volunteer time.
Having this successful and rewarding fundraiser allowed Downtown Marion the opportunity to be a self-sustaining organization. The community has begun to show its support for the efforts put forth for revitalization of the downtown as well as for the efforts of Downtown Marion, Inc.
Download more detailed information about the Gala of Trees.
Business of the Year
The Mermaid’s Tale
Sponsored by RSM McGladrey
The Mermaid’s Tale was established in May of 1992, as an antique and gift store, when there were 19 empty storefronts in downtown Amherst. Owner Judy Recknagel become involved in every organization in the downtown and at the request of the mayor and with two other merchants started Main Street Amherst. The Mermaid’s Tale eventually became a downtown anchor. But 8 years ago Judy realized the product mix in her store was failing. After a bit of research, she discovered Pandora jewelry, and the store got busier and busier. The Pandora merchandise was outgrowing its space every six months. In 2010 Judy sent her inventory of antiques to auction and repositioned the business as a fashion savvy boutique, specializing in Pandora Jewelry, Vera Bradley, Lindsey Philips and other fashion accessories.
Judy also capitalized on three CDBG grants to renovate and update her building.
The Mermaid’s Tale now has eleven employees and has won the Golden 20 award two years in a row; a three-county award based on economic growth and increased sales volume. The Mermaids Tale has made a tremendous impact on the community in terms of economic development and historic preservation and is a model for downtown businesses everywhere.
Best Residential Rehabilitation
Sponsored by The Huntington National Bank
Parvis Lofts on Vine was created by rehabilitating ten extraordinary buildings into 32 market rate apartments with more than 14,000 square feet of first floor commercial space. This development is part of the Over-the-Rhine Renaissance led by the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) in conjunction with the City of Cincinnati and the State of Ohio.
In collaboration with Northpointe Group, this is 3CDC’s first project to bring market rate apartments to the neighborhood in response to the demonstrated need for more rental units in Cincinnati’s center city. The unit sizes vary from a 630 square feet studio apartment to a 2,025 square foot three bedroom townhouse apartment.
These buildings stood empty and blighted for years attracting crime and desolation in the neighborhood. This project has quickly brought a critical mass of people to the area stimulating more interest in the community. Parvis Lofts was complete in December 2010 and is nearly 100% leased.
The $10.7 million project required a complex funding structure, from a variety of public and private investors. Without the State and Federal Historic Tax Credits this project would not have been possible.
Download more detailed information about the Parvis Lofts.
Best Mixed Use Rehabilitation
Historic Mercantile Lofts
Sponsored by Longwell Legal
The $5 million rehabilitation of the historic Davis-McCrory Building is part 1, of 3 buildings included in a High Street Mercantile Commercial Block in Hamilton. After suffering the same decline as many downtowns, the 1870’s buildings sat vacant for years. With the owner threatening demolition, the City of Hamilton took the bold step of purchasing the buildings in 2003 to ensure their preservation and reuse. After a failed attempt at redevelopment, the City engaged Steve Coon and Historic Developers to pursue the project.
With a nationwide recession and an unproven local market, bank financing was unavailable. With a strong belief in the project and a determined to demonstrate its value and viability, Historic Developers assumed substantial risk to proceed with the first phase of the project without financing. Federal and state historic tax credits were used.
Completed in 2010, the Davis-McCrory Building now houses the local offices of SHP Architects in its rehabilitated storefront space, with 4 apartments on the upper two floors and 5 live-work units surrounding a new sky-lit atrium. The project united contemporary style and amenities with significant historic features to create truly one-of-a-kind spaces,
With its substantial community impact and demonstration of sound historic preservation principles, the Historic Mercantile Lofts at the Davis-McCrory Building is transforming downtown Hamilton, and is a model mixed-use project.
Download more detailed information about the Historic Mercantile Lofts.
Best Commercial Rehabilitation co-winner
Andrew Jackson House
Sponsored by Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease
The Andrew Jackson House, built circa 1868 and located on the corner of East Mill Street and Union Street, is a prominent building in downtown Akron. The mansion was originally built as the private residence for Akron lumber magnate Andrew Jackson. This beautiful example of Second Empire architecture near the University of Akron has played a significant role in the history of Akron for over 140 years.
The Chesler Group performed a complete historic rehabilitation in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings.
The structure was in a poor condition and required interior and exterior renovation inclusive of all new interior partitions, finishes, flooring, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire suppression systems; new water and sewer lines, window and masonry restoration, as well as roof work. Design considerations brought the building to code and it is ADA complaint.
The renovation preserved many notable features of the 1868 structure, including the original quarter sawn oak floors, many original solid walnut doors, and unique cast bronze hinges.
Download more detailed information about the Andrew Jackson House.
Best Commercial Rehabilitation co-winner
Theken “Tay-ken” Terminal Building
Sponsored by Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease
Built on the site of Akrons first airport started by barnstormer Baines (Shorty) Fulton, this building was to be used as the terminal for the rigid frame, lighter-than-air ships that were being manufactured by Goodyear in 1929.
When Randy Theken bought the building in 2005, he employed facilities manager, Brett Haverlick and architect Tony Luketic to tackle the project. The team, using the 1929 working drawings, completed extensive rehabilitation work to reuse the space for the offices of Theken Spine.
Due to extensive water damage all of the terra cotta parts were removed and repaired; all missing terra cotta parts were duplicated and new galvanized steel lintels were installed to replace the deteriorated originals. Pitched roofs were rebuilt using standing seam copper and built-in copper gutters to match the originals were fabricated. The original compass pattern that was a part of the main lobby vinyl composition floor that had been previously removed was replicated using laser cut terrazzo tiles from photos of the original.
Download more detailed information about the Theken Terminal Building.
Main Street Manager of the Year
Sponsored by The Heritage Ohio Board of Trustees
Teresa Gilles stood out from the crowd from the start as the board went through the interview process of hiring a new Executive Director for Main Street Amherst. Not only did Teresa bring a resume, but she also brought along 25 letters of recommendations from pillars of the community as to why she should get the job. It worked.
Teresa is a fixture in the community and is always ready to help. She oversees all of the Main Street events, and has implemented a program within Loran County to utilize individuals with community service requirements to assist in the cleanup of downtown. Teresa is on the board of the Amherst CIC, and president of the Amherst High School PTO, and is a member of the Amherst School Board.
She has administered three CDBG grants with another one coming next year.
She has served on the Ohio Main Street Managers Advisory Committee as well as the Lorain County Consortium.
Teresa in truly an unsung hero in the community, she has grown in knowledge and spirit over the past eight years and has always been there for Main Street Amherst and the community. Her sense of humor, honesty and warmth and amiability touch all those who know and work with her. Through Teresa’s efforts and personality she has created an environment where the community works together harmoniously.
Spirit of Main Street
Joe and Linda Diamond
Sponsored by Sandvick Architects
Joe and Linda Diamond have a long history of involvement with Delaware. Both have devoted much of their lives to the betterment of the Delaware community. Linda has worked at the local health department longer than most can remember, while Joe has worked in county & city government, and served on: the City of Delaware Historic Preservation Commission; the Main Street Delaware Board of Trustees (including serving as President); and the non-profit foundation to operate, restore and rejuvenate the historic downtown Strand Theater.
After serving in the City of Delaware Department of Planning and Community Development, Joe began a remarkable career in private redevelopment, partnering with his wife, Linda, in the purchase and rehabilitation of several of the most abused and forlorn historic commercial buildings in downtown Delaware.
Imaginative, high quality, historically sensitive rehabilitations of those buildings, along with creative and persistent recruitment of key contributory businesses to fill them, have become their hallmark of success which inspires others to join in similar efforts. Always supportive of the principles of historic preservation, Joe has assisted and guided many others in downtown projects of their own. Joe and Linda have been prominent and inspiring in their willingness to back up their belief in the Main Street ethic with their personal energies and investments.
It is due, in no small measure, to Joe and Linda Diamond’s Main Street spirit that Delaware is a flourishing example of successful revitalization.
Robert Lewis Hunker
Sponsored by Gray and Pape
Robert Lewis Hunker – The man who saved a reluctant valley passed away in 2009 after protecting more than 30 irreplaceable historic properties and structures from demolition & development and in Peninsula, Ohio.
Robert Lewis Hunker was born in, and loved living his entire life, in the greater Akron area. His greatest joy was being part of our historic canal town, known as the “Seaport of the Western Reserve,”
Beginning with his move to Peninsula in 1962, Mr. Hunker devoted 47 years of his life to preserving historic structures, protecting the river banks and preventing the onslaught of creeping suburbia and development into the valley lands between Cleveland and Akron.
Today Peninsula’s 500 plus residents along with thousands of visitors take pride in enjoying and sharing the fruits of Mr. Hunker’s labor.
Mr. Hunker created a charitable and educational foundation that would perpetuate the preservation he had begun. He prevented the loss of irreplaceable historic structures and invasive development through the valley, thus creating a unique livable space in a protected village all within an enormous acreage supporting wildlife & natural habitats. This is a superior accomplishment by one individual who withstood the pace and clamor and led the way tirelessly into his eighties, asking nothing for himself.