The Downtown Exchange, a revitalization initiative with the goal of fostering small company growth and economic development in downtown Zanesville, recently opened on August 14, 2023.
The Downtown Exchange business owners held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in collaboration with JobsOhio, Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), the Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority, and the Zanesville-Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce, and invited the community to tour the newly renovated building.
Over $1.1 million was invested to rebuild the historic building in the center of downtown Zanesville into 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.”
The Zanesville-Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with The Downtown Exchange, hosted the event on Monday, which was 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 outcome of solid local relationships and a common vision for neighborhood regeneration. The first-floor food hall offers a range of local dining, drinking, and socializing options, as well as a bar and terrace at the back of the building. The second and third floors feature contemporary co-working spaces with small and big conference rooms, collaboration areas, and open desk coworking.
“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 groundbreaking program for the city of Zanesville. As a center for food entrepreneurship and collaborative working, the initiative will ideally generate more impetus 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!”
The Downtown Exchange, formerly known as The Black-Elliot Block, is a historic commercial building in downtown Zanesville comprising three contiguous structures on Main Street. The Italianate structure, which is located near the Muskingum County Courthouse, was built in 1876.
The restoration was funded in part by a $400,000 JobsOhio Vibrant Community award. The JobsOhio Vibrant Community Program provides competitive funds for development projects that assist improve communities in crisis. Mixed-use projects, real estate development projects, and managed common spaces that satisfy the JobsOhio project criteria are also eligible.
“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.”