EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio – East Liverpool city officials did not let the pandemic stop their quest for economic growth over the past year, with a host of new opportunities reported in recent months.
In July, a ribbon-cutting was held for 11 new businesses, including Renovatio’s Tap Room and Restaurant, which entailed renovating a 1924 bank building at a cost of more than $1.1 million.
Also recognized at the event were Darlene’s, Needless Things, Nana’s Primitives, Tri-County Cab, The ZipPost, Clothing Boutique, Vintage Nook, Orchard Grove Originals, On Demand Counseling and a revamped Wise Buys Carpet, now under new ownership.
Marcus Trelaine, president of the Southern Columbiana County Regional Chamber of Commerce, introduced the new business owners, saying there is more potential for growth in the East Liverpool area than there has been in many decades.
Mayor Greg Bricker thanked the business owners for choosing East Liverpool, calling it a “leap of faith to start a new business” and saying to do so during a pandemic is “something special.”
Meanwhile, Amy Faulk, who also owns and has developed commercial space in Lisbon, recently purchased the Little Building, which holds a strategic location in Devon’s Diamond at the center of the downtown.
Renovation work has begun inside the towering structure and the city’s community improvement corporation has approved a $40,000 loan to businessman Shaun DaVill, who plans to open an ice cream shop and a coffee shop in two separate storefronts in the building.
The CIC is taking an active role in the city’s redevelopment, joining forces with both city officials and the Columbiana County Land Bank Committee in acquiring abandoned commercial properties.
The landmark Thompson Building on the Diamond is one such property. The CIC now owns the building and plans to have it cleaned out and eventually renovated and offered for development.
The CIC board also took ownership of the former East Junior High School building, which will be remediated and razed using brownfield funding. The six acres of flat ground – an anomaly in this hilly riverside city – will then be marketed for development.
A recent memorandum of understanding was approved by the CIC through which the Land Bank Committee will work hand-in-hand with the city on acquiring dilapidated and abandoned residential properties for demolition or rehabilitation.
This move will give the county more administrative powers to expedite the process. Bricker has said ridding the blight from such properties will “help the city in numerous ways.”
Other projects underway in the city include the CIC considering offers by developers to purchase both the former East Liverpool Motor Lodge and Riverview Florist properties.
Renovation and construction work is also continuing on the former Ferro building in the East End, where FRX Health will open its medical marijuana processing operation.
Pictured: The Little Building downtown has been purchased and is being renovated for use by businesses.