Zanesville Community Celebrates Opening of The Downtown Exchange
Published: Wed Aug 16 2023
The Zanesville community and local and state leaders gathered in the heart of downtown to celebrate the grand opening of The Downtown Exchange, a revitalization project designed to foster small business growth and economic development in downtown Zanesville. The revitalization project results from strong local partnerships and a shared vision for reinvigorating the downtown Zanesville community.
“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.”
Formerly known as The Black-Elliot Block, The Downtown Exchange is a historic commercial building in downtown Zanesville consisting of three continuous structures on Main Street. Located near the Muskingum County Courthouse, the Italianate building dates back to 1876.
Over $1.1 million was invested to redevelop the historic building in the heart of downtown Zanesville to create a mixed-use marketplace and co-working space. The project was supported by a JobsOhio Vibrant Community grant of over $400,000. The JobsOhio Vibrant Community Program offers competitive grants for development projects that help transform areas within a distressed community.
“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 first-floor food hall features a variety of local eating, drinking, and social gathering space, along with a bar and patio at the rear of the building. The second and third floors are modern co-working spaces featuring small and large conference rooms, collaborative areas, and open-desk co-working.
“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 Downtown Exchange is being called a transformative project for the community of Zanesville. A hub for food entrepreneurship and collaborative working, the project will spur additional momentum and investment.
“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.”
The Vibrant Community Program recognizes that some Ohio communities may need more resources to develop and implement economic development projects that can attract private investment and create new jobs. The program was established to assist eligible small and medium-sized communities with the implementation of catalytic development projects that fulfill a market need and represent a significant reinvestment in areas that have struggled to attract new 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!”