Port Authority to Help Downtown Salem Partnership

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio – The Columbiana County Port Authority is setting sail to enter where it’s never been but not into uncharted waters.

The board of the port authority agreed Monday night to enter an agreement with the Downtown Salem Partnership where it will provide up to $9,000 by the end of the year to fund the purchase of clings. Clings are large vinyl signs or artwork to be attached to the insides of as many as 18 windows in as many as 12 buildings – in this case, vacant storefronts – in the historic district of the Quaker City.

Owners of “seven to eight [of the buildings] are definitely on board,” William Dawes informed the board. The others are wait-and-see. Dawes heads the Downtown Salem Partnership.

The port authority will pay up to $500 per cling to be designed and printed by two Salem businesses: Sourballpython and Promos Unlimited.

Kris Danklef is the owner of the studio, Sourballpython, who will design the clings and Chris Jaquette owns the print shop. Both are offering their services at cost, said Charley Presley, chairman of the board and who owns a business in Salem.

The premise behind that hanging the clings, Dawes explained, is to inform passersby of whom to contact that the storefronts are available for sale or rent.

The clings would illustrate activity inside on how the space could be used. “They [would] cover the windows,” he explained, and “give an air of the type of business that could be going on [and reinforce its] availability.”

With so many vacant storefronts in the downtown, he and Presley observed, someone interested in locating and opening a retail business has no easy way of knowing where to go or whom to ask.

The first clings would be installed inside the Radio Communications Building, 535-536 E. State St., Dawes informed the board, furnishing artwork on how the clings would be displayed. Each would have signage saying, “Your Business Name Here,” with a small Columbiana County Port Authority shadow logo in the lower right hand corner and, likely, the commercial real estate agency somewhere as well if an agency represents the property, Dawes said.

The owners would have to agree and the Downtown Salem Partnership either knows or is tracking down the owners of the 12 buildings, he said.

Port authority involvement “might help move the needle,” Presley offered.

Interested parties could get in touch with either the real estate agent or the port authority, the telephone numbers of both shown on the cling. The port authority would act simply as “a conduit,” Presley said, “and pass along information from interested parties to the owners. Our aim is not to be in [this type of] the real estate business.”

Presley is familiar with clings from his visits to Nashville, Tenn., where they are in the windows of going businesses.

“There are some cool things about [clings],” the chairman said. “If the building is sold or rented, the clings are reusable” and could be hung in another vacant storefront.

In the other item on the agenda that required board action, the five members renewed the lease of Mitsubishi Heavy Industry America Inc., 600 Cherry Fork, Leetonia, through June 30, 2017. Mitsubishi will pay the port authority $14,605 in base rent for 62,250 square feet plus utilities. It will pay $3 per square foot for 50,762 feet plus $2 a foot for the remaining 11,488 feet.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.