Fremont’s historic downtown coming alive
By KRISTIE BILGER
Downtown Fremont Inc. Since 2014, more than $9 million has been spent revitalizing the downtown Fremont historic district. Much of this new investment has come to the district due to property and building owners investing in the renovation of various properties within the historic district. The most significant investment has been made by Discover Fremont, Ltd. who has purchased and renovated four properties within the historic district and added 15 new apartments to their properties on the second and third floors. Other property owners have done façade renovations, new store fronts, signs, roofs and more. Needless to say, the appearance of downtown Fremont in the historic district is improving and so is the climate for new businesses and restaurants. Something is happening in the Historic Downtown Fremont District. Come look and learn about the changes and how you can become part of this historic happening!
Three new restaurants were added one on Garrison Street in 2016 and two on Front Street in 2017, The Garrison, Elroy’s Deli Market and Scarpetta’s Italian have all been added by MoonShine Entertainment, Ltd. MoonShine also purchased the Down Thyme Café and created the Live Edge catering and entertainment center next to the café. There are lots of great food options in downtown Fremont and an outdoor patio being added to The Garrison which will open in April. Food, fun, shopping and entertainment … what more can you ask for from a city founded in 1849?
WSOS Community Action is keeping its headquarters in the historic downtown district and has started its renovation of an existing building at 127 S. Front St. The formerly vacant department store building will become productive and home to nearly 130 employees. This renovation alone will protect 130 jobs for the City of Fremont and a tax revenue stream in excess of $95,000 annually. The cost of this renovation is in excess of $5 million and will create a new beautiful workplace for the WSOS employees. New jobs created in the district between 2015- 2017 total more than 150 with 70 additional jobs retained during this period, and an estimated annual payroll of more than $2 million.
Nine new apartments were placed in construction during 2017 and are now available for occupancy this spring. People are moving into the downtown Fremont historic district and enjoying our redevelopment efforts. Other projects are in the planning stages including the addition of new retail rental space for additional shops and businesses to move into. New projects are being planned and will be announced during 2018.
Along with this new construction, the historic district welcomed the addition of an events center, called the Live Edge Center. Downtown Fremont Inc. assisted with the relocation of S&S CPA Singer & Associates, three new retail/service storefronts also opened; Polter Real Estate, Gypsy Soul Jewels Boutique & Salon and Mana Fix Game Store. Downtown Fremont also continued to incorporate new events into its standing repertoire (famer’s markets, car shows and holiday events) with the New Year’s Celebration, Small Business Saturday events and continuing to collaborate with the Sandusky County Visitors Bureau, Fremont City Schools, City of Fremont, Terra State, & many other organizations for our first annual Cinco De Mayo celebration and the Sandusky County Fishing & Outdoor Festival. Downtown Fremont continues to beautify with our seasonal banners, lighting, decorations and our signature flower planters in the historic district that sets itself apart and makes you “Think Fremont.”
Bilger is executive director of Downtown Fremont Inc. For information, visit www.downtownfremontohio.org or call 419-332-8696.