Cambridge Historical District Project Receives State Award

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Mike Edwards calls the revitalization of Cambridge "a breath of fresh air."

And Edwards, the city's downtown grant coordinator, says it was "much needed" by the merchants.
"They're fighting the upscale mall appeal that so many people like to have an attraction to in that battle for commerce.  I guess at this point, we can say that those merchants can kind of market themselves together as a group and they appeal to a base of shoppers that is looking for something that you just can't pull off of any exit on the interstate and find," says Edwards.
The Ohio Department of Development has just given Cambridge an award for the Wheeling Avenue Historical District project.
Edwards says Cambridge used more than $230,000 in grant funds for the Wheeling Avenue project.
"The entire project is part of a larger grant, which not only took care of the downtown property owners but also extended into a new streetscape for Cambridge which provided a really nice update for our downtown, including new sidewalks, new lines under the street, water and sewer lines. We've got new light poles and the downtown really has a nice much-needed facelift," said Edwards.
Edwards says 20 properties owners participated in the revitalization effort, which took about two years to complete.
"A project would consists of anything from maybe a new awning or a new entry door or security door on up to a window replacement, tuck pointing, new roof.  I mean, some of these projects run several thousand dollars and some of them were maybe just a thousand or two. We've made a major statement in downtown with it," said Edwards.
Edward says with the Wheeling Avenue project and the "Streetscape" project, Cambridge has a new sense of pride.
"We're quite honored and quite humbled to have been selected out of such a good group and it's a reflection on the commitment that our property owners, locally, have made to the downtown area, the revitalization effort and the efforts to bring commerce and prosperity back to a small town in Ohio, so we're very happy," he says.
The award from the state is for Excellence in Community Development.