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WHAT’S NEW IN DOWNTOWN MIDDLETOWN?
Yoga studio opens inside new Middletown development
Middletown native opening salon downtown
Wine bar in Middletown offers bourbon and cocktails, too
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“I think the quality of businesses has really amped up and the new business owners … almost all of them are female, and they’re younger and they’re all from Middletown,” she said. “It’s people who have moved away, come back and identified that Middletown as a good place to start business as a young entrepreneur.”
Greenham said Downtown Middletown started the year off right with an ambitious and aggressive Strategic Plan and finally hit its stride as a program this year with the completion of the downtown Master Plan.
RELATED: Middletown Downtown Strategic Plan offers suggestions for growth
That plan, already presented during a January meeting of Middletown City Council, is scheduled to go before the city’s planning commission in March before coming back to council for adoption and eventual implementation.
“It’ll be a working document for the city of Middletown that every department — streets department, planning and zoning — it’s something that everyone will use,” she said. “It was really important for all of us to be on the same page about what we wanted to see downtown.”
Downtown Middletown also moved into a new office at 1050 Central Ave., built and launched a new website and collaborated on “as many efforts and initiatives in and around Middletown as possible,” Greenham said.
Last year also saw Downtown Middletown work toward achieving the status of an official Main Street Program, something Greenham called “a long time coming.”
“I’m really excited to be here to help push it over the finish line but I definitely didn’t do it alone,” she said.
MORE: Middletown officially part of national program to revitalize downtowns
Being a Main Street community is similar to being named an All-American city, in that it increases the amount of training opportunities as an organization, and involves getting help from the National Trust, Heritage Ohio and other organizations.
“It’s a feather in the cap for the community,” Greenham said. “We can get signages for the exits and it opens up our community to heritage tourism.
“It’s just another way to say that your community has shown that it knows how to work together to collaborate and you’ve got something going on here,” she said.
It also means that Downtown Middletown Inc. will likely work to rename itself something along the lines of Main Street Middletown or Middletown Main Street in the coming several months, Greenham said.
Many of the duties of Downtown Middletown Inc. are below the surface, Greenham said. In the last year, DMI fielded 129 inquiries on everything from facade grants, microloans and renting space to permitting and a general sharing of ideas.
“I’m constantly meeting with people and it’s really exciting,” she said.
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MORE NEW BUSINESSES IN DOWNTOWN MIDDLETOWN
Music shop in downtown Middletown sells instruments, clothing and vinyl
New Middletown business features vintage clothing, lingerie
2 friends open photography studio in Middletown