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Photo Credit: Jeremy Aronhalt

WELCOME Dear Downtown Stakeholder: Although our economy remained weak, we enjoyed a number of successes in 2011. More live entertainment was added to the downtown experience, and new employees were added to the center city work force. A number of vacant buildings were purchased and/or remodeled for future use. We are very pleased to present to you our 2011 Annual Report for the Downtown Canton Special Improvement District (SID). The report highlights our accomplishments and successes for the 14th full year of operation. We appreciate all of the support we receive from our partners, the City of Canton, the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and ArtsinStark. Thanks also to our Board of Directors and property owners for their counsel, financial support and ideas. We look forward to continued success in revitalizing our downtown and creating value for our property owners. Sincerely,

Ronald D. Becker Chairman of the Board Michael P. Gill President

MISSION STATEMENT The Downtown Canton Special Improvement District is a nonprofit corporation that provides programming to preserve the economic well being of downtown Canton. The SID is dedicated to preserving the aesthetic, architectural, and historic character of the downtown area. The organization is funded by special assessments on downtown property owners.

DOWNTOWN AESTHETICS Color Downtown The beautification of the center city continued with the planting of the 50 plus flowerbeds in the center city. For the eighth year, volunteers donated their time and efforts to make downtown look its best throughout the summer. Banners Celebrating the seasons, promoting upcoming events, and raising awareness of cultural and civic organizations in the SID, banners line and decorate the streets. The SID approves and coordinates the banners throughout downtown. Security Increased police presence is added in the downtown areas on Mondays through Thursdays from 6-10pm from November through March. This additional security cruises the center city and walks among the restaurants and bars.

Architectural Review Board To preserve and protect the historical, cultural and architectural integrity of the downtown, an Architectural Review Board was created in 2005. This Board has reviewed 12 projects so far this year. Gumbuster Herman Horner, our resident Gumbuster, continues to operate the Gumbuster Gumcart in downtown Canton during the summer and early fall. Using a solution that is entirely safe for the environment, this machine devours gum and keeps the sidewalks in the central city clean. Sidewalks Over 1,700 feet of new streetscape sidewalks were added this year, which included brick inlays, trees and ornamental light posts.

FOOD & FUN Farmers’ Market The eighth season of the Canton Farmers’ Market was a year to remember! We continue to offer one of the best arrays of fresh, local, produce in the county, which keeps our customers coming back for more. We not only offer fresh produce, delicious baked goods, organic meats and cheeses, beautiful flowers, and gorgeous plants, but we also offer a great line-up of arts, music, and more for our customers to enjoy! In 2011, the market was filmed as a part of Food TV’s television series “Restaurant Impossible” and was also named the “Best Farmers’ Market in Stark County” by the readers of About Magazine.

Community Garden Growing by leaps and bounds, the Downtown Canton Summit Neighborhood Community Garden created community space for gardening and socialization in the city corridor. Beyond planting tomatoes and pumpkins, folks dug into the garden and more than 50 gardeners claimed their little piece of paradise and worked the soil. Project Rebuild, Inc. assisted with creating 30 raised beds, filling out the western portion of the garden and making gardening more accessible. The SID thanks the Stark Community Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation and Canton Development Partnership for their support of the garden.

Downtown Deals Downtown Dining Deals Wednesday invited patrons to enjoy downtown restaurants repeatedly throughout March and April in 2011. The SID continues to support downtown restaurants’ success by coordinating monthly meetings for owners and managers to capture new marketing ideas and strategize. Restaurant Guide & Arts District Guide These two guides list downtown eateries and arts organizations and are distributed around Canton and in tourist welcome centers, providing a quick listing of where to go and what to do downtown.

Photo Credit: James Dreussi

ARTS & ACTIVITIES Arts Explosion The SID partners with ArtsinStark to continue development of impact areas for the arts in downtown Canton, collaborating on public art projects, First Fridays, public arts funding and arts marketing. This year, public art additions to downtown abounded with several murals, new pieces of public sculpture, and greater artist participation in downtown. Arts District way-finding signage helps identify the area of focus, tying it to the Arts District brochures and

First Friday The newest and most unique tradition in downtown Canton, First Friday, celebrates arts, food, and entertainment with a variety of themes and an abundance of activities. From 6-10 p.m. each first Friday of the month, downtown streets are filled with art, music, community and much more! Partnering with ArtsinStark to produce this monthly event, the Special Improvement District is proud of the interest and support of First Friday.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Aronhalt



NEW IN 2011 This year was a year of “firsts” in downtown Canton, with the addition of new events that rounded out the summer calendar! 4th Street Summer Concert Series Located “under the lights” on 4th Street, the music of pop stars like Billy Joel, Elton John, and Jimmy Buffett, created an energized setting in the Arts District.


Photo Credit: Jeremy Aronhalt


Cinema in the City Partnering with ystark! and the Palace Theatre to recreate the cinematic experience in an urban landscape produced a new hit series: Cinema in the City. Each month, a movie was projected onto an outdoor screen to a waiting audience that was entertained with a variety of pre-show acts. Jurassic Park, Shrek, and Indiana Jones drew audiences from around the city. Out to Lunch Music Series Weekly entertainment brought excitement to the lunch hour in September and October with the Out to Lunch Music Series. Musicians performed around downtown, gracing the Kresge Green Space, Central Plaza North, and Courtyard Plaza with tunes to lighten the lunch hour.



BUSINESS & PLANS Economic Development The SID collaborates with the City of Canton to assist downtown businesses and search out companies that want to make downtown their home. In addition, it is important that vacant buildings are sold to investors or organizations that commit to improving these buildings. In 2011, the following unoccupied buildings received new ownership from investors committed to the rehabilitation of the buildings:

ADMINISTRATION Downtown Contacts An e-mail listing of downtown contacts is maintained to ensure that our businesses and offices are informed about events and other happenings in our center city.

Space Inventory An updated space inventory is maintained at The listing provides information on downtown buildings, including square footage, space availability, pricing, and contact information. The SID also calculates occupancy rates for our Class A, B and C buildings.

• 430 Market Ave. N. • AT&T Building at 401 Cleveland Ave. NW • Frank T. Bow Federal Building • Lehman High School • Wells Building • Donation of unoccupied Kentucky Fried Chicken building at 9th & Cherry NE

Improvements were made to these existing occupied buildings: • 400 McKinley NW • 236 Walnut NE • City Hall renovation

New companies or business operations in downtown Canton: • Cavaliers D League • VXI Global Solutions • Lucca Restaurant • The Auricle music venue

New construction: • YWCA Gateway House II project SID Master Plan Throughout the year, the SID and the City of Canton have partnered to address items identified in the Master Plan. Topics such as a sidewalk improvement plan, downtown housing, a parking plan, bike trails and downtown lighting have all been reviewed and discussed. The Master Plan Committee collaborated with the City of Canton and a private owner to design, fund and place lights above the roadway on 4th Street between Cleveland Avenue and Dewalt Avenue. This creative lighting display has energized the Arts District and created a space that can be utilized for smaller events throughout the year. The Master Plan Committee also coordinated with the City of Canton for the placement of refuse/recycle containers in the SID. The committee suggested the number of units and their location. This program will promote recycling in our center city.


4th Street Lights

Each year the SID Board recognizes downtown organizations making a significant contribution to the revitalization of our city by presenting these businesses with a SID Award. The SID Board applauds their commitment & investment in downtown Canton.

The Auricle

Cavaliers D League

VXI Global Solutions

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Ronald D. Becker, Chairman David T. Beule , Vice Chairman Robert King, Treasurer Jon Jacob, Secretary

Steve Coon Robert J. Hankins Mayor William J. Healy II Jon H. Jacob


Michael E. King Robert King Rodney W. Meadows Dennis P. Saunier


Buzzbin Magazine Art & Music Shop

Michael P. Gill President Corleon Assent Event Manager Annette Rosenberger Administrative Specialist

Canton Development Partnership 222 Market Ave. N Canton, Ohio 44702 330.456.0468

2011 Downtown Canton Special Improvement District Annual Report  

View the Downtown Canton Special Improvement District Annual Report

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