“Footprints in place” for the central district

LIMA — Lima City Council has received an update on the Central District project. The project is part of a larger effort to revitalize downtown Lima. The plan could add new housing, dining and leisure spaces near downtown Lima.

The project has been in the works for two years and the organizers hope to obtain support and possible funding from the city to continue the progress already made. The $4 million development along Central Avenue aims to repurpose buildings and create space that appeals to a younger crowd and transforms an at-risk area into the city’s new center for socializing and recreation.

According to project manager Jerome O’Neal, progress has already been made and the next steps of the project are ready to go.

“Now you go to the central district and if you walk around you will see that we have already done some landscape,” he said. “Our fingerprints are in place. We are reassigning three buildings, the three buildings are in different phases. We hope that by October 1st, with the permits issued by the city of Lima, this will give us the opportunity to move earth.

The plan is to add three apartments, at least two restaurants and a dog park to the space. Some council members were very receptive to supporting the development, but no formal motions were brought forward at Monday’s meeting.

“This is great and a win-win situation for our community,” said Councilman Derry Glenn. “It’s something we’ve been waiting for for years. A lot of people say ‘we have nothing to do (in Lima)’, we have to go to Fort Wayne or Dayton or Cincinnati. Now we see developers entering our community. »

A Lima business owner, Frank Cage, was one of the driving forces behind the project and said the space will be designed to complement the infusion of young people that Mercy Health-St. Rita’s and Rhodes State College could bring Lima to the future, thanks to their recent downtown developments.

“We brought in millennials and different things of that nature, and took some of their ideas that we saw and found that a common thread was that there were areas that we were missing and were missing,” a- he declared. “(It) broadened the vision, but ultimately it was a group effort, not just on the developers, but also pulling in community insights to refine what this project is going to be.”

An aerial rendering of the final vision for the Central District might look like.

Reach Trevor Hubert at 567-242-0398

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