Ice Cream Parlor Will Also Return
Mitchell credits each owner’s business acumen and commitment to the St. Paris community to “grow stronger” in 2021. “Shopping local, supporting local businesses and promoting goodwill in the community is what we in St. Paris believe in,” he said.
Mitchell is highlighting the accomplishments of business owners and businesses that recently opened, are planning to open, or are renovating in the village.
Family Country Cuts, located at 211 W. Main St. opened this month.
Janie Douglas’s salon offers a variety of services such as haircuts for men and women, coloring, make-up, facial waxing, manicure and pedicure and facials.
Douglas brought on two more workers, one full time and one part time, and is excited to see the growth of her business. Hinting at possibly including massage therapy, Douglas hopes to see the small operation become a full-fledged salon.
Walk-in hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment only weekdays after 5 p.m. and on Saturdays. Appointments can be made by calling 937- 869-8300.
Longbow Health Plans, located at 120 S. Springfield St. opened in June of 2020 and is an agency composed of insurance professionals who offer “high quality insurance products and retirement planning services to meet your goals and budget.”
Clay Ruffner, the founder of Longbow, graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and later Case Western Reserve University with an MBA. Clay is a licensed, independent agent “committed to not only finding clients fantastic coverage,” but also providing ongoing support. “We aren’t finding you coverage and then leaving you in the dust,” Ruffner said. “Put us as a contact on your phone, because we never want to be far away, and always want to be your trusted expert.”
Longbow Health Plans holds office hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and can be reached by calling 937-788-7713.
Retail store Pony Wagon Bargains, located at 146 S. Springfield St. opened in October of 2020.
Owners Jason and Jessica Anderson held the store’s grand opening on October 31. Claiming to have “something for everyone,” the Pony Wagon Bargains offers discount prices on many top name-brand items including electronics, household, health and beauty, children’s toys, baby items and more.
Pony Wagon Bargains is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 4-8 p.m. on Wednesdays; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
A new grocery is preparing to open this spring after the village lost its IGA to closure. Since the IGA closed, village residents have been relying on a chain store retailer and the local farmers market during the warm season.
Mitchell met with the owners of the new business and toured the progress of renovations in late December.
Mitchell said the new owners do not wish to speak publicly, but promised to relay any permissible information to the public as it becomes available. “He’s excited to join this community and the community is excited about having a grocery store once again. Details on branding, staffing and things of that sort have not been communicated to us yet,” Mitchell said of the unnamed owner.
Debbie McGuire Lyons is the building owner at 115 Main St.
Braden’s Cafe & Sweets was the last tenant and has since closed.
Lyons is in the midst of a full renovation of the entire building, but has not indicated what the long-term plans will be. Lyons declined public comment but did say “the structural repairs are underway” as she has “big plans for the building’s future.”
Reach Andrew Grimm at UDCeditor@aimmediamidwest.com.
The building has been vacant for over 10 years.
“We’re going to see new work, new life, new employees in this building,” said Champaign Economic Partnership Director Marcia Bailey.
Securing the building and cleaning up the site took the team effort of private and public partnerships like the City of Urbana, the Champaign Economic Partnership and True Inspection Services, LLC, a full-service commercial inspection, engineering and construction management company.
TIS is now the owner of 12.6 of the 20 acre site, including the building. TIS Executive Vice President Joe Timm said three tenants will move into the building after its restoration – TIS, Community Health and Wellness Partners out of Logan County and The Door Shop, which is a commercial door company.
Project partners hope that after the work is completed, other investors will be drawn to build on space behind the building and part of the site’s acreage on the other side of the bike path.
The JMC project piggybacks off of the ongoing development of the FC Legacy Place senior living project that will transform the former North and South elementary schools and the Douglas Inn into affordable senior housing.
“We’re kind of looking at this as the anchor client or anchor site for helping redevelop this whole neighborhood,” Timm said.
Construction bids for the project will go out soon, and the businesses are expected to move in by fall 2021.
Three Businesses to Move in Next Fall
Once work is completed, TIS – a minority-owned, full-service commercial inspection, engineering and construction management company – will occupy the building’s second floor, moving from its current South Main Street location.
Community Health & Wellness Partners (CHWP), which offers a full range of primary medical care including behavioral health services in Bellefontaine, Indian Lake and West Liberty, will open a newly approved Urbana location on the first floor of 605 Miami St. by late fall 2021. The Health Resource Service Administration has also granted CHWP approval to open a school-based health center in West Liberty-Salem Schools in early 2021, CHWP President/CEO Tara Bair said.
The third business – The Door Shop, a commercial door and hardware distributor – will have light manufacturing and warehouse operations at the site.
The former Q3 JMC building is the fourth major vacant structure in Urbana to be given a new lease on life this fall. It joins the Douglas Hotel and the former Urbana North and South Elementary Schools, which are being restored and renovated for FC Legacy Place, a total of 51 affordable senior apartments.
“Both projects have moved forward thanks to strong public-private partnerships, of government and business working together to obtain the necessary funding and provide the expertise to bring plans to reality,” said Marcia Bailey, director of the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP), Champaign County’s economic development agency.
Bailey credits the Champaign County Board of Revision for helping set the wheels in motion for the Q3 JMC project when it approved in 2015 the City of Urbana’s request to obtain the property free of unpaid back property taxes and other encumbrances after no one bid on the property at a sheriff’s sale.
The city took ownership of the 20-acre site in 2017, said Doug Crabill, community development manager who has managed the project for the city. After that the city pursued redevelopment of the property, to clear it of contamination and prepare it for development by new owners.
Bailey assisted the city in reaching an agreement with TIS, the city’s development partner, to oversee the site cleanup and redevelopment. “They were the only company that came forward with interest in renovating the building and turning the brownfield into a greenfield for business development,” Bailey said. “Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to find an end user for the property because of the contamination that had to be removed.”
On behalf of TIS, Bailey wrote an application for a JobsOhio Site Redevelopment Pilot Program grant to help fund the work.
JobsOhio, encouraged by the number of community partners involved, awarded TIS a reimbursable grant of $883,947 to help cover the cost of demolition, environmental remediation, asbestos abatement, removal and disposal of waste, and site preparation. The city provided $348,435 in matching funds, and TIS contributed $116,145.
TIS has acquired 12.6 acres on the east side of the 20-acre redevelopment site, including the Q3 JMC building. The remaining portion of the 20-acre site is being readied to be marketed for business development, Crabill said.
Timm said TIS’s new location will “help take us to the next step in the growth of our company, to hire more personnel and expand our operations.” In addition, he said, some of the 12.6-acre parcel that the former Q3 JMC building sits on will be developed for sale to other businesses.
“The building will be an anchor for future development on the rest of the property, restore jobs lost when Q3 JMC closed, and generate tax revenue for our community,” Bailey said.
Kerry Brugger, Urbana’s director of administration, said, “We’re excited to see the building come back into productive use. It’s a great project for our community. It eliminates a severe safety and health nuisance for the community and will retain and create jobs.”
Of TIS, he said, “It’s been a pleasure working with them. They’ve been an excellent partner to work with.”
The new Cobblestone Hotel & Suites in Urbana officially welcomed its first guests on Friday, June 12th!
Reservations are now available online at https://www.staycobblestone.com/oh/urbana/
Downtown spot opening this month to feature health food
Former ‘city farm’ to be mined for sand and gravel