Community of Zanesville Announces $1.1M Investment in Downtown Project

A downtown Zanesville revitalization project designed to foster small business growth and economic development is one step closer to reality. The Downtown Exchange LLC, in collaboration with JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), the Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority, and the City of Zanesville, today announced an investment of over $1.1 million to redevelop a building in downtown Zanesville to create a mixed-use marketplace and co-working space.

“This significant investment in the heart of Zanesville to develop the Downtown Exchange project brings a sense of excitement to this historic town,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO. “We appreciate the collaboration with our local partners to establish this mixed-use marketplace, which will attract new business to the downtown and serve as a gathering space for the Zanesville community.”

The Downtown Exchange project is the result of strong, local partnerships and a shared vision for revitalization in the community. The first-floor marketplace will feature local eating, drinking, and collaborative spaces, with plans for 10-12 food vendors, along with one bar at the rear of the building. The second and third floors will become co-working space featuring conference rooms, flexible meeting space, private desks, and private offices.

“Downtown Zanesville is in the process of many revitalization projects which are all very exciting. The Downtown Exchange will bring a food hall/market on the first floor, coworking, conference rooms, and private offices on the upper floors,” said Brian Diamond, co-owner of The Downtown Exchange. “This project will help attract our families, business community, and tourists to our downtown.”

The Zanesville-Muskingum Port Authority is excited about what the marketplace will bring to downtown Zanesville. “The Downtown Exchange is a transformative project for Downtown Zanesville, which will act as a catalyst to spur even more capital investment,” said Matt Abbott, Executive Director of the Zanesville-Muskingum Port Authority. “We applaud the Diamond and Dodson families for their continual investment in our community and their further commitment to their hometown.”

Formerly known as The Black-Elliott Block, The Downtown Exchange is a historic commercial building in downtown Zanesville consisting of three continuous structures spanning 525, 527, and 529 Main Street – a total of 20,000 square feet. Located near the Muskingum County Courthouse, it was built in 1876 in the Italianate style of architecture. The size and layout of the building will allow for multiple tenant locations, with an open-air concept that encourages engagement and collaboration.

“As the owners of The Downtown Exchange, we are taking on the renovation and revitalization of a 20,000 square foot 1880s building,” said Diamond. “Through the support of JobsOhio and our skilled team, we will be able to deliver the project at a moderate cost level thus keeping down the lease fees for our tenants. This will allow for both well-established brands/businesses and newer startups to operate in the space.”

Diamond said he and his business partners (his wife Mary, and Judd and Cara Dodson) have been overwhelmed by the amount of support the project has received. “From Don Mason our Mayor and Matt Schley with the City of Zanesville to Dana Matz with our Chamber of Commerce, Matt Abbott with the Muskingum County Port Authority, Katy Farber, Tom Poorman and Mike Jacoby with OhioSE, and Diana Rife with Jobs Ohio.  It is a very exciting time to take on a project like this in Zanesville, Ohio.”

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 perfect example of a transformational Vibrant Communities project,” said Katy Farber, Vice President of OhioSE. “It blends the community’s redevelopment plan with local investment to bring much needed services and capacity to the downtown. The JobsOhio support filled the gap to make this project become a reality. We anticipate more private investment in Zanesville and look forward to the dynamic change that will re-energize 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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