SALEM, Ohio (WYTV) – Nonprofits and other groups in Salem came up with a solution to vacant buildings that are preventing new businesses from moving downtown.
One of the problems for the city is that there was no way to get information to interested buyers about the empty buildings. Nonprofits and other groups came together to create a window cling that lets potential buyers know which properties are on the market.
“We realized that out of 120 buildings downtown, 28 of them were vacant and not available,” said Mike Mancuso with Salem Area Sustainable Opportunity Development Center.
Now, the new window clings make it clear which empty buildings are available.
“Instead of driving through downtown and noticing all of the vacant buildings, and maybe that being your discussion, now the discussion is, ‘Look at what we’re doing with our vacant buildings,'” said William Dawes, president of the Downtown Salem Partnership.
The Columbiana County Port Authority is sponsoring the window clings, and a Salem graphic artist and printer helped with the project to keep it local.
Penny Traina with the Port Authority says the collaboration is moving the county forward.
Libs Market in downtown Salem is two days away from its one year anniversary. Owner Ben Ratner says the location made sense to him because it’s practical.
“There’s a lot of people working downtown that want their caffeine fix,” he said. “I feel like we have been accepted and a lot of support from the community.”
Ratner wants to see more businesses come to town and is excited about the window clings going up.
Mancuso says a grant is being used to help one new business get up and running.
“We have what will be our first urban winery coming in in the fall and we’ve been working to help them with financing their business plan.”
He says some buildings are in the process of being leased, while others have been sold.