Downtown

Architectural Board of Review Approves Four Grants

New sign approved for Laird Building

This artist’s rendering shows what the perpendicular signage w

Today, the City of Tiffin Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved three façade grants for Downtown Tiffin buildings and a grant for a new sign to be installed at the Laird Building.

During the meeting, the board approved three projects for Façade Enhancement Grants:

  • Tony Consolo, owner of 45 S. Washington St., B.E.S.T. Taco Shop & Breakfast Spot, was approved for a $10,000 grant for roof repairs.
  • Donna Brose, owner of 135 S. Washington St., Cabin Creations, was approved for a $10,000 grant for window and masonry restoration.
  • Jay Zheng, owner of 253 S. Washington St., Hunan King, was approved for a $10,000 grant to improve the exterior façade to make it more historic.

The board also approved a $1,000 Downtown Sign Enhancement Grant requested by Don Zeis for a 19-foot-tall perpendicular sign to hang on the Laird Building, 114 S. Washington St.

Combined, these projects total more than $97,000 in investment in Downtown Tiffin.

In 2020, the ABR approved façade grants for the owners of seven building in Downtown Tiffin for a total investment of $227,188.12.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented: “I’m proud to be able to support these building owners in improving their properties and investing in the beautification of Downtown Tiffin.”

Since the Façade Enhancement Program’s inception in 2014, 92 projects have been approved for a total downtown investment of more than $2.6 million.

About the Façade Enhancement Program

The Façade Enhancement Program is a City of Tiffin reimbursement grant that was started in 2014 and provides a 50 percent match of funds for eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district, up to $10,000. Each building is eligible to receive up to $10,000 per calendar year. For more information, visit www.tiffinseneca.org (search “Façade Enhancement”).

About Downtown Tiffin

The revitalization of downtown Tiffin began in 2011, when a group of community members came together to for “Tiffin Tomorrow”, with the goal of promoting and encouraging economic development in downtown Tiffin, and creating plans, programs and actions to ensure long-term vitality and prosperity. In 2014, the city of Tiffin contracted with SIEDC to act as the downtown organization and “Tiffin Tomorrow” came under the SIEDC umbrella as the “Downtown Development Committee,” which serves as the governing board of the downtown organization. In 2015, Tiffin joined Heritage Ohio’s Ohio Main Street Program. For more information, click here.

MST Pub receives 2021 Outstanding Business Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

Nevin Martin (left), TSEP Executive Board Member and chair of TSEP’s Downtown Development Board, presents the Outstanding Business Award to Chris Chase, Owner of MST Pub.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 15, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have named MST Pub as a 2021 Outstanding Business Award winner during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

Owner Chris Chase started working at MST Pub, then Madison Street Tavern, in 2004 when he was getting his Master’s Degree at Tiffin University.

“What I found was just a really great community, and that’s basically why I chose to stay,” he said.

A year after he started working there, he became a manager and then purchased the business in 2009.

One of Chase’s goals was to take the business from a college bar to a full-service restaurant. Since he took ownership, Chase has invested in updating the busienss’s interior and exterior, including adding permanent tables, and creating a whole different atmosphere.

“It was really a matter of trying to clean it up and give Tiffin something that I think they needed, which is a different eating option, which is how I progressed to it being a restaurant from just a bar,” Chase said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, MST was forced to close for a few weeks, but quickly pivoted to carry-out and curb-side pick-up.

“The community really supported us, in buying gift cards and showing us a lot of love with the to-go food. My staff was great, making the transition seamlessly,” Chase said. “Taking phone calls, running food out to the curb, making sure we’re sanitizing everything. It was very difficult in the beginning, but I think we transitioned well, and without the love from the community and all the support we got from them, it wouldn’t be as good for us.”

MST has a tradition of supporting the community, by providing food and gift cards for the high schools and local sports teams when asked. Chase was especially proud to have supported the Front Line Proud initiative by selling T-shirts at the restaurant, as well as making donations so that the group could provide lunches for hospital staff and other front-line workers during the pandemic. The mission of that group is to generate funds to recognize and support frontline workers while promoting unity and supporting our essential workforce through diverse and distinct actions.

“We don’t say ‘No’ too often. If we can help somebody out, we definitely try,” Chase said.

Chase thanked his family, his wife and their two children for supporting him and his staff, and the community for helping to make the business a success.

“That’s why we do all this, for the community. We really appreciate all the support they’ve given us through the years,” Chase said.

To view video of the award winner, click here. MST Pub is at 92 Madison St. For more information, visit www.mstpubtiffin.com or call (419) 448-9670.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

TSEP launches new Downtown Business Enhancement Survey

Online survey asks public about downtown shopping and dining

QR Code for Survey.
Available at tiffinsurvey.com

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 14, 2021 – Tiffin Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) announced today the first new public survey about shopping and dining preferences in downtown Tiffin and the surrounding area since the study contained in the Housing Opportunities Analysis in 2019. Any resident, visitor, employee and student can fill out the survey, which is available at www.tiffinsurvey.com and will be open until July 15, 2021. Participants will be entered into a gift card drawing.

Information from the confidential, short survey will be used to help the Downtown Business Enhancement Committee (DBEC) and TSEP Staff strategically target new businesses to attract to the downtown. The goal will be to do the survey annually or biannually to continually have current, accurate information on the public’s shopping habits and preferences for Downtown Tiffin.

In 2019, the Housing Opportunity Analysis listed a bakery, an indoor farmer’s market, family recreation, a clothing store, and a grocery as the top five businesses. It also listed steakhouse, American traditional, steak & seafood, BBQ, and Breakfast/Brunch as the top five menu types sought for downtown. The new data will provide a way to compare trends over time.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz praised the effort, saying, “Efforts like this are one of the hundreds of things we do to continue our downtown momentum and the number of new businesses starting up and thriving in our center city. I encourage everyone to fill it out.”

Bill Jones, Downtown Business Enhancement Committee Chair, commented “Our intention is to encourage local entrepreneurs and to target the most highly sought business types within a 60-mile radius and ask if they would like to open a new branch.”

Questions should be directed to Amy Reinhart, the Director of Downtown Revitalization, at 419.767.0328 or by email at reinhart@tiffinseneca.org.

About Downtown Tiffin

The revitalization of downtown Tiffin began in 2011, when a group of community members came together to for “Tiffin Tomorrow”, with the goal of promoting and encouraging economic development in downtown Tiffin, and creating plans, programs and actions to ensure long-term vitality and prosperity. In 2014, the city of Tiffin contracted with SIEDC to act as the downtown organization and “Tiffin Tomorrow” came under the SIEDC umbrella as the “Downtown Development Committee,” which serves as the governing board of the downtown organization. In 2015, Tiffin joined Heritage Ohio’s Ohio Main Street Program. For more information, click here.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

Taylor Elchert Photography returning to downtown Tiffin

New storefront location to open in April

TIFFIN, OHIO – February 22, 2019 – Taylor Elchert, owner of Taylor Elchert Photography, has announced plans to move her business to downtown Tiffin in April. Having been in the downtown previously, Elchert said she was excited to get the opportunity to move her business, to be located at 184 Washington St., after the location was suggested to her by Washington Street Outfitters co-owner Zoe Dolch.

“I’m so excited about it. I actually graduated with Zoe, the owner of WSO, so it’s cool our businesses will be right next to each other,” Elchert said. “I love having the storefront. It’s so perfect with the city parking lot being right there.”

Elchert is a family photographer and specializes in maternity and newborn portraits. She has been in business for 11 years, and most recently was located on Melmore Street. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Ever Illuminated and Lemonade & Lenses, where she also received an award. She has been named one of the most inspiring and talented child photographers by the Child Photo Competition Team and had articles written about her in Tiffin Life magazine and Findlay Life magazine.

In moving downtown, Elchert joins Melissa Perry Photography, The Poignon Project, Tiffin Art Guild, Court Street Gallery, Hawkes Crystal, Red Raven Tattoo & Art Gallery and other businesses in the arts community in Tiffin

“I’ve been thinking about moving to the downtown for a while now,” Elchert said.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said he was glad to see Elchert return to the downtown. “It is great to see so many entrepreneurs wanting to bring their businesses to the heart of Tiffin.”

For more information or to set up an appointment, call Elchert at (567) 230-3880 or visit taylorelchertphotography.com.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.com.

Third Thursdays announced for Downtown Tiffin

Fun evening events to take place monthly and begin March 21

TIFFIN, OHIO – February 23, 2019 – The downtown retailers and Main Street Marketing Committee released the upcoming schedule for downtown Third Thursdays. They will begin on March 21 and continue every month through the end of 2019.

Following a successful test run in 2018, community members, local businesses and restaurants have partnered to again bring themed evenings to Downtown Tiffin through Third Thursdays. Every third Thursday will have a theme, and participating businesses and restaurants will have special hours and are encouraged to incorporate the theme through decorations, a special menu item, crafts, music and more. Any downtown business or organization may participate.

Similar events have occurred for many years throughout the United States, but these events let Tiffin bring its own spin on the monthly events. The first two Third Thursdays for 2019 are March 21, St. Patrick’s Day Shenanigans with Clover Club as the featured restaurant, and April 18, Blooming Artist Stroll, featuring artists and musicians in downtown businesses.

“These events allow Tiffin to showcase some of our great businesses and restaurants for people who maybe haven’t been downtown in a while,” said Susan Wilkinson, Chair of the Downtown Marketing Committee and owner of Simply Susan’s.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said he is excited to see these monthly events take place in Downtown Tiffin: “Third Thursdays were a hit last year, and we are confident it will attract more residents and visitors to our downtown.”

For the latest news on Third Thursdays and other upcoming events in the downtown, follow Downtown Tiffin on Facebook or visit Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership’s website for more details, tiffinseneca.com. If your business, group or organization would like to participate or volunteer, contact Wilkinson at (419) 934-0254.

About Downtown Tiffin

Downtown Tiffin is an award-winning and state and nationally accredited Main Street program managed by the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and driven by volunteer business and community leaders and stakeholders passionate to make downtown Tiffin a destination. More than 50 volunteers participate in various committees. Since 2014, more than 40 new businesses have opened, and more than 65 downtown building facades have been improved. Since 2016, more than $25 million has been invested.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.com.

Downtown Tiffin earns national accreditation with Heritage Ohio for third year

Tiffin recognized as a National Main Street Community

TIFFIN, OHIO – FEBRUARY 8, 2019 – For the third year in a row, Downtown Tiffin has been re-recognized by Heritage Ohio as a National Main Street Community. The Ohio Main Street Program, administered by Heritage Ohio, works with communities across the state to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas. Based in historic preservation, it focuses on four points: organization, design, promotions, and economic vitality. Each point is an integral part in the successful revitalization of a downtown area.

The Ohio Main Street program is a partner of Main Street America. Accreditation is an honor that must be earned every year by meeting the program’s high standards as determined by an annual quality audit by state officials. With this distinction, Downtown Tiffin has received accreditation for its Main Street program at both the state and national level for 2018, 2017 and 2016.

Downtown Tiffin’s revitalization efforts continue to be validated and recognized throughout the state. Since becoming a Main Street Community in 2015, 42 new businesses have located in Downtown Tiffin and more than $25 million in investment has occurred in the downtown, creating a vibrancy.

This past October, Downtown Tiffin was presented with three statewide awards by Heritage Ohio at its Annual Preservation and Revitalization Awards Ceremony. The Façade Enhancement Grant program won Best Public/Private Partnership; Suzie Reineke and Weston Reinbolt won Young Preservation Leaders; and Amy Reinhart won Main Street Manager of the Year.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, who participated in the accreditation process Jan. 30 at Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, was excited to see Downtown Tiffin recognized. “We are doing great things in Tiffin, and it is validating to see that our efforts were recognized for a third year by Heritage Ohio. A big thank you to Amy Reinhart and the hard work of those citizens, business and building owners in our downtown development committees.”

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio. TSEP consistently ranks among the top communities statewide and nationally for economic and downtown development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.com.

About Heritage Ohio

As Ohio’s official historic preservation and Main Street Organization, Heritage Ohio’s mission is to foster economic development and sustainability through preservation of historic buildings, revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts, and promotion of cultural tourism. Since 1998, Heritage Ohio has contracted with the National Trust for Historic Preservation as Ohio’s state coordinating agency for the Main Street Program™. Learn more at www.HeritageOhio.org.

Sign enhancement grants available for 2019

Downtown properties can receive up to $1,000 for projects

TIFFIN, OHIO – February 6, 2019 – Following a rollout in 2018, the City of Tiffin again is to offer downtown property owners a grant to update hanging signs. For 2019, Tiffin City Council has approved $5,000 in funding for the program which allows for a 50 percent reimbursement of expenses directly related to perpendicular signage on properties within the downtown target area, up to a maximum match of $1,000. This grant is available on a first-come, first-served basis from application approval.

To apply for a grant, the building owner should meet with Downtown Main Street Manager Amy Reinhart to discuss how the program works and obtain an application. Eligible improvements include all exterior perpendicular signage including the bracket. Historical signs, including neon signs, are eligible to be repaired and restored. Once the application is submitted, reviewed and deemed complete and without issues, the Architectural Board of Review will consider it for approval. Projects approved in 2018 include $1,000 to The Ritz Theatre for its marquee, $1,000 to Washington Street Outfitters for its sign and to restore the bracketing and $1,000 to Viewpoint Graphics to restore the historic Leiner Men’s Wear sign.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said he was glad to see local businesses take advantage of the program last year and hopes it will continue in 2019. “This is a great opportunity to continue to beautify downtown Tiffin and to increase awareness of the great businesses in our city.”

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.com.

Downtown gains new art gallery

Renovation of downtown property aided by $10,000 in grants

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 30, 2019 – Modern artist Tom Hoffman has announced plans to open a new art gallery, Court Street Gallery, showcasing his work and that of other artists at 33 Court Street in downtown Tiffin’s historic district. Hoffman previously had a gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is excited to offer his gallery vision to residents of Seneca County and Northwest Ohio.

“I wanted a place to showcase my art and show other artists eventually,” Hoffman said. “I love Tiffin and think it’s a really great town; it’s blossoming, and I want to be part of that,” he added.

Hoffman has a degree in architecture from the University of Illinois and was first an interior designer with a thriving business and a move to Tiffin prompted him to put his art to the forefront. Hoffman is to use part of the renovated storefront for a gallery space and art studio, and he is to live in one of the upper apartments.

Andy Faber, partner with building owners Tiffin Capital Investments LLC, purchased the building in March 2017, said the renovation was a new experience for the group and thanked Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and guidance from other property owners and their bank as they updated the storefront and five apartments.

“The four of us just did this. We’re four buddies who started this over a beer. We looked at other properties and this one made the most sense,” Faber said. “We’ve really resurrected a building down there. It’s crazy to look back, seeing people living there and making it a home is absolutely awesome.”

In 2016, the previous owner received a $10,000 Façade Enhancement Grant that was used for repairs to slate, masonry, windows, cornices, roof, and dormers, as well as painting. In August 2018, Faber and his associates started the process on the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) for tax abatement, which is awaiting approval upon completion of renovations.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said he is excited about the project. “It is great that the city of Tiffin will have another attraction in its downtown, and we are pleased to see that a historic building has been brought back to life by members of our community.”

The Diane Kidd Gallery on the campus of Tiffin University will host “Evolving,” an exhibition of abstract paintings by Hoffman through February 21, 2019.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.com.

Advocacy group opens downtown Tiffin office

Seneca Anti-Wind Union to cut ribbon in historic Laird Arcade

Press release provided by Seneca Anti-Wind Union

“It was officially announced Tuesday via the Seneca Anti-Wind Union Facebook page that the Seneca Anti-Wind Union now has a physical office space in Downtown Tiffin. I would like to formally invite you all to attend our official public ribbon cutting event that is being hosted by the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services on Tuesday, January 22nd at 4:00 PM.

The ribbon cutting event will take place in front of the our office doors which are located next to Same Day Signs on Market Street (see map). Our official address is 76 E. Market St., Suite B. The office is located in the beautiful and historic Laird Arcade Building right across the corner from the new Joint Justice Center.

Please spread the word as this event is completely open to the public. We also would love to have each and every one of you sign our ribbon.

We hope to see you there!”

Seneca Wind Introduces Office in Tiffin

sPower-Logo_onWhite.jpgsPower Opens Seneca County Headquarters at 23 Court Street

Press release provided by sPower

Joined by Seneca County residents, business leaders and elected officials, sPower cut the ribbon on an office for the Seneca Wind project in downtown Tiffin that will be open to the public during designated hours, five days a week. sPower encourages people to visit the office at 23 Court Street for information about Seneca Wind or to leave comments or questions about the project.

“Today we make it official that Seneca Wind is a long-term member of this outstanding community,”  said Gordon Gray, director of wind for sPower. “We thank the residents and community leaders who have welcomed us, and we invite everyone to visit our office and engage with us.”

The Seneca Wind office will be staffed by Cynthia Beat, a resident of Attica, and will be open during the following hours:

  • Monday, 9 a.m. – noon
  • Tuesday, 9 a.m. – noon
  • Wednesday, 2 – 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon
  • Friday, 9 a.m. – noon

“I welcome sPower to our downtown community – another success in the efforts to revitalize the courthouse square area,” Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas said. “Representatives from sPower made several commitments to the commissioners. One of them was to have a staffed local office in downtown Tiffin. I thank them for keeping that pledge. This move demonstrates their long-term commitment to the county and their promise to be accessible to concerned citizens. sPower’s small local office will grow into hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment across the county.”

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) is reviewing sPower’s application for a 212 megawatt wind farm. sPower is seeking a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need as part of a comprehensive public review process.

In September, the State of Ohio certified Seneca Wind as a Qualified Energy Project, establishing a fixed payment in lieu of taxes throughout the operational life of the project. Based on the proposed 212 megawatts of nameplate capacity and the 30-year expected lifetime of the project, this will result in $56 million of revenue from sPower to be divided among schools, townships and other taxing jurisdictions in Seneca County. The Qualified Energy Project program also creates requirements for in-state employment, renewable energy education, road improvement and repair, and emergency response training.

Seneca Wind will consist of up to 85 wind turbines on approximately 25,000 acres of privately leased land in Scipio, Reed, Venice, Eden and Bloom townships, providing enough clean energy to power almost 60,000 homes each year.

About sPower: sPower, an AES and AIMCo company, is the largest private owner of operating solar assets in the United States. sPower owns and operates a portfolio of solar and wind assets greater than 1.3 gigawatts and has a development pipeline of more than 13 gigawatts. sPower is owned by a joint venture partnership between The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES), a worldwide energy company headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment fund managers. For more information, visit www.sPower.com. To learn more about the Seneca Wind project, visit www.SenecaWind.com.