Downtown

WSO approved for Sign Enhancement Grant

Washington Street Outfitters has been approved by the Architectural Board of Review for a Sign Enhancement Grant to offset the costs of restoring the signage at their new storefront location, 186 S. Washington St. The approval is the second for the City of Tiffin’s Sign Enhancement Program, which provides a 50 percent reimbursement of expenses directly related to perpendicular signage on properties within the downtown target area, up to a maximum match of $1,000.

Washington Street Outfitters was approved for a $648.03 grant to restore their perpendicular sign. The application states:

“To maintain the integrity and heritage, the current sign’s structure will be restored. The outer edge will be restored with new aluminum and painted black. The general structure, size, and attachments will remain the same. Lighting will be added above the sign.”

This is the second approval for the program, which was implemented at the beginning of 2018 with an allocation of $10,000. The balance remaining in the fund is now $8,351.97.

UIS Insurance & Investments expands into three new markets

UISIns+Invest_Logo_side.pngPress release provided by UIS Insurance & Investments

UIS Insurance & Investments headquartered in Tiffin, Ohio has announced the expansion into three new markets serving Greater Central Ohio.  This fast-growing independently owned insurance and investment agency merged with Diversified Insurance Services in Marion, Forest, and Mount Gilead. Scott Dickey of the UIS management team said “We are an ideal fit for each other. UIS brings strong companies that expand Diversified’s appetite in the insurance market. Diversified brings us a strong work ethic and fantastic customer service in thriving locations.”

Diversified Insurance Services has been in business since 1984 with offices operating in Forest, Marion, and Mount Gilead.  Diversified agency principle Dan Downs said, “This day has been in the making for over two years and we are extremely pleased with the merger which is perfect for Diversified Insurance as well as our employees and valued customers.”

UIS CEO & President, Mitch Felton said “We couldn’t be happier to welcome Dan and his team to the UIS family. Diversified’s strong commitment to health, ancillary health products, commercial & personal business, is a perfect match with how we serve our clients.”

UIS Insurance & Investments, formerly United Insurance Service, has over 100 employees and agents now serving 16 communities in Ohio and Michigan. UIS provides personal, commercial and benefits insurance for individuals and corporations throughout the country.

First Sign Enhancement Grant approved

The Ritz Theatre to upgrade marquee/signage

Ritz Sign.jpgTIFFIN, OHIO – August 29, 2018 – The Architectural Board of Review has approved the first Sign Enhancement Grant in the amount of $1,000 for improvements to the marquee of The Ritz Theatre, 30 S. Washington St.

Ritz Theatre Executive Director Michael Strong said the grant will help alleviate the costs of restoring the signage of the historic theater. “It is imperative that we retain the historic nature of the theater even as we update technology in the lighting,” he said. “This grant helps make it more affordable to make the appropriate changes the right way.”

The Ritz Theatre is the first project approved for a Sign Enhancement Grant since it was implemented by the City of Tiffin at the beginning of 2018. The grant is a 50 percent reimbursement of expenses directly related to perpendicular signage on properties within the downtown target area, up to a maximum match of $1,000. The Ritz was awarded $1,000 to replace and upgrade the lighting of their sign, marquee and “downlight” to the long-life and cost-saving LED equivalents while retaining the vintage look of the signage.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented: “I am pleased to see The Ritz Theatre taking advantage of the program and I encourage any other downtown business looking to upgrade their signage to apply.”

The Sign Enhancement Grant is available through the end of 2018. For more information about the program, contact Downtown Manager Amy Reinhart at 419.619.5517 or reinhart@senecacounty.org.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Downtown building to be renovated, business to relocate

Seneca Cleaners moving to S. Monroe St.

Seneca Cleaners.jpgTIFFIN, OHIO – August 28, 2018 – Business owners Dale and Paula Depew will be renovating 50 S. Monroe St., with plans to move Seneca Cleaners there in 2019.

Depew said he had wanted someone to develop the building, which has been vacant for 14 years, and took it on himself when the opportunity arose. “I have confidence in the Tiffin economy and downtown revitalization, and I want to be a part of it,” he said.

Depew plans to renovate the 4,100 square foot building and separate the space into three units. One will house Seneca Cleaners, and include a pick-up window for quick service, while the other two units will be available for lease. The building also includes dedicated parking.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz looks forward to continued development in the downtown area. “Coming on the heels of the riverfront development project announcement, this renovation will serve to further enhance the area and return to use a vacant building that has been long overdue for restoration,” he said.

During the renovation process, Seneca Cleaners is open and working out of a space in the eastern part of the Tiffin Mall (adjacent to the former JC Penney store) at 870 W. Market St.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Washington Street Outfitters to relocate, expand

WSO moves to 186 S. Washington St.

IMG_6897.jpgTIFFIN, OHIO – August 27, 2018 – Downtown boutique Washington Street Outfitters will be moving to a new location this fall. The storefront space at 186 S. Washington St. will provide the shop room to expand their product offerings and selection.

Owners Zoe Dolch and Spenser Blackiston are looking forward to providing a better experience for their customers. “The new space has the right aesthetic, gives us a larger area to work with, more storage in the back room, better ease of access, and more readily available parking, as well as a more visual storefront,” Dolch said.

WSO got their start through the Laird Business Contest. Dolch and Blackistan submitted their business plan and competed with six other entrepreneurs to win one year of free rent for a space in the Laird Arcade, courtesy of the Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group.

“The Laird allowed us to get on our feet and learn,” Dolch said. “We are thankful for the opportunity and experience, and we are ready to take what we’ve learned and use it on a larger scale.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz congratulated the pair on their success. “With Washington Street Outfitters, Zoe and Spenser have proven that their concept works in downtown Tiffin and that young entrepreneurs can thrive here,” he said.

WSO is still open at their current location inside the Laird Arcade Tuesday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Visit their Facebook and Instagram pages for more information and updates.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Potential riverfront development recommended to Tiffin City Council

Transformational residential and hotel project eyed for downtown Tiffin

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Ed Hernando addresses Tiffin City Council.

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 16, 2018 – Tiffin City Council’s Committee of the Whole approved sending to the next full Council meeting a purchase agreement for two of the City’s downtown parking lots along the Sandusky River. The sites would be acquired by Tiffin River Front Development LLC in order to build both a creative loft living complex and a full-service hotel/condominium facility. If the sale is approved, the development company plans to enter the full due diligence and design phase, aiming to finalize the project details by sometime in 2019.

Florida-based developer and entrepreneur Ed Hernando is a Heidelberg University graduate, former captain of the football team, and current member of Heidelberg’s business school advisory board. He has been working with the city and economic development officials on the project concept since early 2017. He cited the city’s prudent planning in the purchase of the Stalsworth and Livery property in 2013 and the 2016 Downtown Strategic Growth & Development Plan among several reasons to invest in Tiffin. “It is evident that Tiffin is a community investing in itself and its future, and I want to support its growth and development with this large-scale project,” he said.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said that Tiffin is open and prepared for this kind of development. “The Tiffin Riverfront Development will be a transformational project in the heart of downtown Tiffin building upon the already strong momentum the community has experienced over the past several years,” he stated. “It will provide unique housing and lodging for new and current residents while serving as a catalyst for additional investment in the future. This further builds on other major transformational projects in the downtown like the Frost-Kalnow Amphitheater on the East Green, future splash pad, and newly renovated lofts and storefronts.”

Moving the project forward is contingent upon significant further due diligence and market validation, but the current plan, based on research to date, contains the “Creative Lofts” and “Downtown Residences and Hotel” projects.

The Creative Lofts will be located on City Lot 6 across the river from Kiwanis Manor and will offer affordable lofts geared toward young professionals and graduates from the local communities, encouraging young people to stay in Tiffin post-graduation to live, work, launch businesses, and make Tiffin their home. It is estimated that the Creative Lofts will have 85 units, which is subject to change based on entitlement, building restrictions, and market conditions.

The Downtown Residences & Hotel will be located on City Lot 4 on the site of the former Stalsworth Hotel and Livery and provide the ultimate in elegance and spa living for condominium owners and a boutique hotel experience for guests. The project includes a restaurant lobby and bar, conference space for events, banquets and weddings, as well as a rooftop bar and restaurant. It is estimated that the Downtown Residences & Hotel will have 50 full-service hotel rooms, 45 condominium residences, and four to five penthouse units. This is also subject to change, based on the previously mentioned factors.

The purchase agreement will be put forth in a city ordinance, to be presented at the first of three readings by Tiffin City Council in a regular meeting Monday, Aug. 20.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

 

ABR approves last Façade Grant of 2018

The Chandelier to install awning

Chandelier FacadeTIFFIN, OHIO – August 7, 2018 – Today, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved a Façade Enhancement Grant of $584 to The Chandelier, 151 S. Washington St., depleting the $100,000 set aside by the City of Tiffin for 2018.

The Chandelier was awarded the remaining funds in the Façade Enhancement Grant program, to install an awning on the front of the building, facing S. Washington St., wrapping around the side of the building along Madison St. The overall project is estimated at $9,759.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented: “This program provides an enormous return on the city’s investment that you can see everyday in our beautiful downtown,” he said. “It is encouraging that after five years funding this program, there is still so much interest in the Façade Enhancement Grant that we are running out of funds well before the end of the year.”

This year, 13 projects were approved resulting in $584,000 invested in downtown Tiffin buildings. Since the program’s inception in 2014, 65 projects have been approved for a total downtown investment of nearly $2.2 million.

About the Façade Enhancement Program
This City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program was started in 2014 and provides a 50 percent match of funds for eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district, up to $10,000. Each building is eligible to receive up to $10,000 per calendar year.  For more information, visit http://www.senecasuccess.com (search “Façade Enhancement”).

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Leadership Park, historic marker dedicated

IMG_20180626_112013.jpgToday, the City of Tiffin dedicated Clouse-Kirian Leadership Park in conjunction with the unveiling of a State historical marker for the founding of Tiffin.

Leadership Park began as the community project of the 2014 Leadership Seneca County class. As part of the nine month course in leadership and civic participation, the class raised $25,000 to create a community park in downtown Tiffin. The city matched $20,000, creating a fund of $55,000 for the park. The park was designed but put on hold due to potential development on the chosen site.

In late 2015, the project was revived when Lenny Clouse purchased the building at 22 S. Washington St., demolished it, and sold the land to the city at cost. From there, two more grants were secured from the National Machinery and Meschech Frost Charitable Trust to cover the funding gap created by the change in location, and the construction of Clouse-Kirian Leadership Park began.

Also dedicated at the Leadership Park site was Seneca County’s twelfth historical marker. The Seneca County Historical Society worked with the Ohio History Connection to place an Ohio Historical Marker denoting 1822 as the founding year of the town.

The text of the marker reads: “In 1822 Josiah Hedges purchased the land that would become Tiffin from the Delaware Land Office. By March, this land, situated across the Sandusky River from old Fort Ball (War of 1812) was surveyed and platted by General James Hedges, the brother of Josiah. These events marked the founding year for the city of Tiffin, which was named after Edward Tiffin, Ohio’s first governor and a friend of Josiah Hedges. The legislature commissioned Thomas Henford, Isaac Minor and Cyrus Spink to establish Tiffin as the permanent seat of justice for Seneca County on March 25, 1822.”

You can find a complete list of Ohio Historical Markers at Remarkable Ohio.

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Reclaim It holds open house

IMG_20180618_114753_2.jpgA new establishment opening in downtown Tiffin later this year is holding an open house to highlight major renovations to the interior and exterior of 127 S. Washington St. Reclaim It is a charitable organization partnering with a wide variety of community businesses and organizations to uniquely refurbish household items for resale to benefit and empower local youth.

Karen Klepper is spearheading the initiative along with a board of 11 comprising community educators and leaders, as well as a youth advisory board made up of 11 college and high school students. “The greatest tool we have here is the youth board,” Klepper said. “They are the ones that will actually make the changes.”

Building trades instructor with Sentinel Career Center Aaron Thompson, who, along with his students, assisted in the renovation of the building added, “The kids act as mentors, but they still need mentors. Everyone gets something.”

Through furniture, creativity, story, community interaction, and group meals, Klepper hopes to create a safe and supportive environment for youth in our community to gather and learn both soft and hard skills, with the assistance of mentors.

“I am absolutely amazed by the community I live in,” Klepper said. “For all of the painful stories, there are more positive ones, and people who want to roll up their sleeves and make a difference and doing it for the right reasons. If we (in Seneca County) can’t change things, no one can. We are small enough to be manageable, but big enough to reflect others’ issues.”

Allstate Insurance under new ownership

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The Allstate Insurance office in downtown Tiffin will soon be under new ownership. David Stover will be taking over over the office at 72 E. Market St. later this summer. The Agency will continue the tradition of excellent service and friendly support offered by the late Bill Daniel while seeking to grow the staff and product offering as Tiffin’s new Allstate agency.

Stover announced his new venture via social media:

“I am excited to announce that I will be carrying on the tradition of excellent service and friendly support at Seneca County’s only Allstate agency later this summer. The office is located in the Laird Arcade building, at the center of downtown Tiffin’s current resurgence.

This purchase is the culmination of a search that began last summer when I decided to leave The Andersons, Inc. after 30 years of service. One of my primary goals has been to become more involved in the community where I live, worship and have raised my children. That goal has been accomplished.”

The office will remain at the same location and continue to offer the broad array of products and services available through Allstate. Terry Webb will be continuing on as an agent in the office serving your property and casualty needs.  In addition, Neil Ickes, Personal Financial Representative will be available to assist you in your financial planning and investments. Stover is also looking to bring on additional team members.

David was born and raised in Seneca County and resides in the Tiffin area with his wife Dr. Amber Stover and two children.  Over the past thirty years, David held multiple roles with The Andersons, Inc. in sales, marketing, crop insurance, and risk management.  His background in business led him to recently join the faculty at the Heidelberg School of Business where he teaches marketing, innovation and mentors future business owners.