Zanesville Downtown Association Looks Forward For 2012

By
Fred Kight

Dateline
Updated Wed, Jan 4, 2012 10:38 am

Sixteen years ago the Chamber of Commerce in Zanesville formed an organization to rejuvenate the central city area.

The man who heads that group reports significant progress but acknowledges work remains to be done.
 
The name of the group is the Zanesville Downtown Association and Dana Matz is in charge.
 
Matz says the recession has put a damper on things but, to date, more than $30 million has been invested in the downtown. "The Zanesville downtown association officially started in 1995. The city of Zanesville adopted a codified ordinance section pertinent to our downtown area.  We have a downtown design review board and the four objectives that the board of the downtown association focuses on are business attractions, business retention, physical improvement and public relations. Since the year 2000, to the end of 2011, we've realized that we've had over 33 million dollars of investments both public and private in our downtown area," says Matz.
 
2011 was a productive year, says Matz, but he still has a long to-do list.
 
Matz says the city is planning a major improvement project for 2012 and that will create new opportunities for the Zanesville Downtown Association.
 
Matz says local financial institutions are helping with the financial burden. "From a financial standpoint, with the recession of 2008, a lot of state funding and federal funding was cut. So at this point we are looking at traditional loans. We do not have a pool of money per say set aside that is directly going to go into downtown. What we do have is a pool of banks that have what they call a downtown loan fund and those banks working together each take a portion of the loan, thus reducing their risk and letting the average borrower have a chance to get in to the market of buying a downtown commercial property and doing revitalization steps to bring it up to its maximum potential as far as an income revenue stream," says Matz.
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