Community of Zanesville Celebrates Opening of The Downtown Exchange

The Downtown Exchange, a revitalization project designed to foster small business growth and economic development in downtown Zanesville, celebrated its opening today. The Downtown Exchange business owners, in partnership with JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), the Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority, and the Zanesville-Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce, held a ribbon-cutting celebration this morning and welcomed the community to tour the newly-renovated building.

Over $1.1 million was invested to redevelop the historic building in the heart of downtown Zanesville to create a mixed-use marketplace and co-working space.

“With the establishment of The Downtown Exchange, business owners and entrepreneurs can now look to new, modernized space in the heart of Zanesville for future investment,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “This revitalized site creates a stronger downtown Zanesville as the anchor of a vibrant community with an outstanding quality of life and growing economic opportunity.”

Monday’s celebration was hosted by the Zanesville-Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with The Downtown Exchange and attended by JobsOhio president and CEO J.P. Nauseef, OhioSE Vice President Katy Farber, Ohio Senator Al Landis, Zanesville Mayor Don Mason, and other community stakeholders.

“The establishment of The Downtown Exchange is the result of exceptional collaboration with our partners and an example of what happens when Ohioans come together to improve our communities,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO. “The revitalized block of downtown Zanesville will be a catalyst to spark economic growth in this historic city center, symbolizing the re-emergence of Ohio’s small towns.”

The Downtown Exchange is the result of strong local partnerships and a shared vision for revitalization in the community. The first-floor food hall features a variety of local eating, drinking, and social gathering space, along with a bar and patio at the rear of the building. The second and third floors are modern co-working spaces featuring small and large conference rooms along with collaborative areas and open desk co-working.

“The vision of The Downtown Exchange was to combine good food, beautiful architecture, a business environment, and community gathering space in the heart of downtown Zanesville,” said Brian Diamond, one of the building’s four owners. “We appreciate all of the support our local, regional, and state-level government and private sector entities have lent to this project.”

The Downtown Exchange is a truly transformative project for the community of Zanesville. A hub for food entrepreneurship and collaborative working, the project will hopefully spur additional momentum and investment.

“The Downtown Exchange project, which combines a food hall and work share space, is a business incubator, traffic generator, and next-generation project,” said Dana Matz, President of the Zanesville-Muskingum Chamber of Commerce. “It has had an immediate impact on our community. The collaboration between economic development professionals, local officials, and investors has been top-notch!”

Formerly known as The Black-Elliot Block, The Downtown Exchange is a historic commercial building in downtown Zanesville consisting of three continuous structures on Main Street. Located near the Muskingum County Courthouse, the Italianate building dates back to 1876.

The project was supported by a JobsOhio Vibrant Community grant of over $400,000. The JobsOhio Vibrant Community Program offers competitive grants for development projects that help transform areas within a distressed community. Eligible projects include mixed-use projects, real estate development projects, and operated shared spaces, that meet the JobsOhio project criteria.

“The Downtown Exchange is a wonderful example of a catalytic development project,” said Katy Farber, Vice President of OhioSE. “This revitalization project blended the community’s redevelopment plan with local investment to bring much-needed services, new small businesses, and capacity to the downtown. We look forward to seeing this building thrive as a community hub and the injection of energy it brings to the downtown.”

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Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) is the JobsOhio Network Partner for southern, eastern, and southeastern Ohio, providing economic development work and resources in 25 rural counties; they are the newest and geographically the largest of the six regions across the state. OhioSE partners closely with regional development districts, local economic development offices, state agencies, and other entities to expand, retain, and attract businesses in the counties they serve.

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