Downtown Strategic Growth and Development Plan

City receives funding for alley enhancement

Local foundations award $70,000 to pedestrian project

AlleyProject-nolightsonpoles

Conceptual drawing, subject to change.

TIFFIN, OHIO – November 20, 2017 – Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz announced at a Tiffin City Council meeting tonight that the city has secured funding to move forward with a pedestrian alley enhancement project in downtown Tiffin.

The city received two grants, $40,087 from the Meshech Frost Charitable Trust and $30,000 from the National Machinery Foundation, which will cover nearly all costs associated with the project.

“Thanks to the support of our local charitable foundations, we are able to move forward with a project that will transform one of the most used alleys in our downtown into a beautiful, inviting, pedestrian-friendly walkway,” Montz said. “The project will create a safe, well-lit connection between parking and downtown amenities, for both residents and visitors.”

The alley to be enhanced is located across from the Ritz Theatre between City Parking Lot #3 and South Washington Street, adjacent to 33 and 45 South Washington Street. The alley will be closed to vehicular traffic, with removable bollards to allow utility vehicle access.

Improvements will include installation of six decorative poles to support overhead string lighting running the length of the alley, a decorative stamped asphalt surface, and benches, trash cans, planters, and bike racks. Detailed design items will be finalized this winter and construction beginning as early as this winter or early spring, with a target completion date before September 2018. Gas and electric utility work has already been completed.

The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp.’s Downtown Design Committee chose the project from the Downtown Tiffin Strategic Growth & Development Plan, adopted by council in 2016, and has been working closely with the City Engineer’s department to plan and fund the project. The plan pinpoints several alleys for enhancement, which will be considered upon completion of the current project.

New Downtown Development Plan unveiled

Urban Framework PlanThe final draft of the new Downtown Strategic Growth & Development Plan is to be unveiled at the second annual Downtown Summit today. The publicly-funded plan builds the 2010 Downtown Strategic plan by (1) identifying and evaluating current strategic opportunities, (2) updating the downtown area framework plan (master plan), and then (3) by identifying 22 specific catalytic projects that will directly or indirectly attract private capital into the downtown. 19 of those are in one of five specific “development areas” or zones (Riverfront, Civic Core, South Washington Street, Five Points, and Fort Ball), and three of them are demonstration projects with financial pro formas and designs provided to show how they could be done. Part of the work of the plan also involved speaking with developers about the feasibility of the projects and gauging interest.

Tiffin City Council approved funding for the study in October of 2014, and a Steering Committee met beginning in October. Larger stakeholder sessions were held throughout 2015. SIEDC managed the study and worked with a consultant team led by the Gossman Group (Columbus) and involving EDGE Landscape Architects and Planners (Columbus), and LSL Planning (Royal Oak, MI) to create the plan. Participants at the summit will be asked for feedback to help establish project priorities for 2016 and moving into 2017. The intention is to finalize the plan by the end of May and present to City Council in June. Comments and feedback are welcome (David Zak, zak@senecacounty.org).

East Tower Open House & Exhibition

East TowerSaturday & Sunday, November 14/15

<<Press release issued by East Tower LLC>>

East Tower LLC announces that it will be holding an open house and exhibition for the public on November 14 & 15 from Noon until 4:00pm.

The first floor of the East Tower has been partially restored and is available for its first public viewing. The low ceilings of the old East Junior High School have been demolished, exposing the decorative tin high ceilings of the original Columbian High School. Natural light now floods into the 13 foot high classrooms. The grandeur of the 1893 edifice is coming alive once again.

East Tower blogThe Open House will also feature a special exhibition entitled, “Our Downtown: Past, Present, & Future.” Enlargements of over 80 photographs and artists’ renderings will highlight a 100- year span of time from the glory days of downtown Tiffin in the early 1900s, to the post war baby boomer period, to today & tomorrow.   A former classroom is dedicated to each time period: past, present and future.

The “Future” room gives a sneak preview of renderings borrowed from the Downtown Strategic Growth & Development Plan, authored by the Gossman Group for SIEDC as agent for the City of Tiffin. When completed the Gossman study will recommend various development East Tower blog 2ideas and plans for a greatly revitalized downtown Tiffin. Although the plan is still in draft form, the pictorial renderings and maps to be displayed in the “Future” room during the East Tower exhibition highlight the vision, if not a possible plan, for the future of downtown Tiffin. Additionally, conceptual floor plans of the East Tower as a government office building will be exhibited.

For more information see our website www.EastTowerTiffin.com, Facebook page and Twitter.