WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Bikes lanes, crosswalks and parking spaces — all part of the Market Street makeover in Warren.
Members of the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership transformed the Market Street Peninsula on Saturday — the portion surrounded by the Mahoning River — to show it’s potential. They did so for the program called Better Blocks.
“Just the possibility,” said Lisa Ramsey of the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership. “It is bordered on both sides by the river — and that’s gorgeous. That’s just not something you get anywhere else in the city. So to be able to really clear out the edges so you can see down the river, it makes it a really pleasant place.”
People set up short-term shops to show what it’d be like if businesses really did move into the space. Also, TNP offered entertainment — like a theater stage — in the empty lots of the street.
There’s still a lot of work to be done, but Ramsey said it just takes one person to take the leap into investing.
“That’s part of the reason we do this,” she said. “To show the potential of what this space could look like, so potential business owners could be moving their potential business operations down here.”
Warren wasn’t just showcasing some temporary streetscape upgrades.
Just across the bridge, in courthouse square, future businesses were showing off what they have to offer, as John Ramsey of Nova Coffee and LaKita Williams of Sew Cute held one-day openings of their new stores.
The Warren Redevelopment and Planning Corporation helps with opening these pop-up days, which both owners say will help when they finally do open in 2017. They also said this is a great time to be starting out in Warren.
“There’s a lot that’s starting to go on,” Williams said. “This is going to be a spot.”
“Downtown Warren is on the up-swing,” John Ramsey said. “We believe we’re getting in while the gettings good.”