The REAL Problems With This Project
The real problem with the former building, known as Centre City Mall, was the perception and stigma surrounding it. It wasn't in the best condition, the roof had failed, there was sewage in the basement...it was NOT acceptable for small businesses to be operating out of.
Safety and Structural Concerns Addressed Immediately
So the first thing our team had to immediately address were the safety and structural conditions of the building. One of the first items we addressed was the sewage/drainage problems and the roof. We worked with our contractors to ensure that the efficiency of the building, along with the safety of those operating out of and visiting it were a priority and in tact.
Renovations Begin With Main Street In Mind...
Once we had the baseline items covered, we then focused our energy on the renovating of the offices, design elements, and rebranding the building so we could change the perception locally. Our team's leader, Jason Duff, had a vision to bring "Main Street" literally inside the building. In this way, each unit inside the former mall was transformed into a Main Street building front; with brick facade, siding, miniature canopies, new slate black tile installed for the flooring, and much more.
Creating Success For Small Businesses
The reason our team is so passionate about Main Street is that we believe small business owners in small communities are the ones capable of creating positive change and sparking local economic development...but in order to do that they need efficient, safe, attractive, and convenient space and leasing arrangements to operate out of. And they also need help telling their story, positioning themselves to be found and heard.
The true vision of Main Street began to come to life slowly over the months. Our muralist and designer, Marilyn Reed of Marilyn's Artistry, has painted murals capturing downtown activity and local poignant images that capture the essence of Bellefontaine and downtown; and the small businesses operating out of the marketplace have noted an influx in business.
The progress continues and more pictures to come as we finalize this project through the end of the fall 2012.