LORAIN, OHIO - With the leaves falling and cooler weather here, something different could be popping up in one local city: businesses.
With the lure of free or reduced rent, the city of Lorain is hoping to get an economic boost in time for the holidays
Three years ago, Faroh's Candy was offered free space to open a pop-up shop on Broadway Avenue in a downtown Lorain storefront. It was supposed to be a holiday cameo appearance. It turned into a lasting role. Faroh's has become a Broadway star.
Hoping to build on that success story, Lorain and several building owners are playing another version of let's make a deal. Empty storefronts have been recently renovated and spruced up, and are being offered to businesses offering attractive products, art or crafts.
"We have a beautiful historical district very close to our lakefront property and we're looking at ways to bring more people to downtown Lorain," said Rey Carrion acting Director of Lorain Community Development.
A building at 642 Broadway Ave in Lorain was built just more than 10 years ago and offers 3,400 square feet. It was recently renovated, and now it's rent free in November and December.
"We've had discussions with various groups ranging from one large operation that would occupy the entire space to other groups that would bring in five or six different vendors and create almost a mini mall type of environment for this building," Carrion said.
Using grants, the Lorain Growth Corporation is also offering money to building owners to renovate storefronts.
"The program is to get the incentive to the building owners to get renters in here to buildings that are empty and not occupied and keep our historic texture we have downtown here," said Jim Long Director of the Lorain Growth Corporation.
Lorain City Council is expected to vote on this plan Monday night.
If you're interested in the storefronts, contact Lorain City Hall.