Downtown Strategic Plan

Council approves downtown sign program

Grant provides up to 50% reimbursement for sign costs

Renaissance Sign 2TIFFIN, OHIO – December 4, 2017 – Tiffin City Council approved a new Sign Enhancement Program in a meeting Monday night and set aside $10,000 to fund the program in 2018. The program is designed to assist business owners in downtown Tiffin in displaying effective and consistent signage.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said the program is a natural companion to the Façade Enhancement Program introduced in 2014. “Through the Façade Enhancement Program, downtown building and business owners have been able to make drastic changes to the look of their building. To date, the city has invested $350,000 in the program, resulting in $1.4 million in renovations,” he said. “With the sign program, we are able to take the transformation one step further.”

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.  This grant is available on a first come, first served basis from application approval.  Applications will be accepted starting Jan. 1, 2018. For the first 30 days, preference will be given to owners who have successfully completed Façade Enhancement Program projects.

Signage was laid out in the Downtown Strategic Plan adopted by Council in 2010. The plan called for consistent standards for downtown signage to improve community character along with the Façade Enhancement Program. Similar programs have been adopted by other Ohio Main Street communities, including the Gateway District in Cleveland, Cambridge Main Street, and Main Street Wooster, to great success. A study of one Gateway District business showed a 20 percent increase in foot traffic after a sign enhancement project.

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.

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).

City continues investment in Downtown Tiffin

Phase I of a $100,000 comprehensive signage program complete

TIMG951846IFFIN, OHIO – February 19, 2016 – New wayfinding signage is being installed in downtown Tiffin today. The signs are part of a two-phase project to help visitors and residents more easily find their way to attractions and parking in downtown Tiffin.

The new wayfinding signs finish phase one of the project, which also includes the kiosk on Courthouse Square listing downtown attractions. A second phase of the project is scheduled later this year and includes kiosks on the Tiffin and Heidelberg University campuses as well as signage for all city parking lots downtown. The total investment for both phases is around $100,000.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is pleased to see the signage go up. “I appreciate the work of SIEDC and the Main Street committees in making this happen. It continues our strategic effort to make downtown Tiffin a destination place and easy to navigate for visitors and residents alike.” The initiative is one targeted in the Downtown Strategic Plan adopted by the City in 2010, and one the Main Street Design Committee has been working on this effort for more than a year.

The Seneca County Commissioners have also approved parking lot signage to match the city signs and are in the process of implementing signage in four lots. After both phases are completed, 39 obsolete signs will be removed from downtown streets.

Downtown Development Committee Chair Jessica Williams was also excited to see the wayfinding happen: “We continue to work to implement the Downtown Strategic Plan, and this is a goal for 2016. We also appreciate the many volunteers who helped make this happen.”

Details about the Wayfinding Signs

Each set includes five signs directing drivers and pedestrians to the following attractions: Heidelberg University, Tiffin University, Civil War Museum, Tiffin Art Guild, Library, Parking, Glass Museum, Frost-Kalnow Stadium, Ritz Theater, Courthouse Square, Hospital, Hedges-Boyer Park, Fort Ball District and Post Office. There are 21 sets of wayfinding signs being installed at the following locations:

  • East Market Street & South Washington Street
  • Madison Street & South Washington Street
  • Main Street & South Washington Street
  • Melmore, Coe, & Sycamore Streets with South Washington Street
  • East Perry Street & South Washington Street
  • Frost Parkway & North Washington Street
  • East Market Street & South Monroe Street
  • East Market Street & Jefferson Street
  • East Perry Street & Jefferson Street

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 at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com

Around the Town event welcomes back university students

around the townNearly 1,000 Heidelberg and Tiffin University students will have an opportunity to see what more than 60 Tiffin businesses and organizations are all about at a Welcome Back Students/Around the Town Event this Saturday, Aug. 22 from 3 – 5 p.m. on the courthouse green space.

Around the Town is one of the signature events of the Downtown Strategic Plan, and this is the first year that the event will be held downtown and combine both universities.

WTSC Seneca County Radio will be live broadcasting from the event, playing music and interviewing guests. Several restaurants will be providing free samples, shops and restaurants will hand out coupons and menus, non-profits will provide students with information about how to get involved in their organizations and students can check out local services.

SIEDC Downtown Development Specialist Bryce Riggs is a Heidelberg student the lead organizer of the event. “As a student and lifelong Tiffin resident, I am aware of the opportunities in the community, but the majority of new students don’t know what’s out there or where they can go. Tiffin has so much to offer! I would like other students to know what’s out there, so they can get involved in the local organizations and visit our restaurants and shops,” Riggs said.

Participating businesses and organizations:

Businesses open around the square: