ELYRIA — Main Street Elyria and the city of Elyria are working with Team Lorain County to develop a database of downtown businesses, commercial properties and residences to aid in economic development.
The database, which is being developed by two interns, one of whom works for the city and the other for Main Street Elyria, will include data such as building size, owner and/or leasing agent, occupancy and listing price, if needed. It will be kept by both entities as well as Team Lorain County, which serves as the the county’s economic development department.
“With this database, it will be easier for us to get information to any business looking to come into the area. This way, it will be at our fingerstips,” said Main Street Elyria Executive Director Tamela Grubb.
Grubb said prospective business owners often call the organization with simple questions about available buildings in the downtown area. Sometimes those questions can be quickly answered.
“But I often have to tell them I will call them back with the right information,” Grubb said.
Grubb said the organization’s intern, who is employed through Leadership Lorain County, is focusing on contacting the owners of every building on Broad Street from Chestnut to East River Street. Other focus areas will include a zone with Elyria High School, EMH Medical Center, Elyria Salvation Army and the Elyria Public Library serving as anchors.
Mayor Holly Brinda said the city had some of the information but nothing comprehensive.
“Eventually we want a registry that deals with every business and property 25,000 square feet or below,” Brinda said. “Team Lorain County has a database of spaces above 25,000 square feet.”
With the database, Brinda said future economic development strategies will be constructed to identify what the city needs, what business owners need and also what type of additions could compliment existing businesses.
Brinda said the city’s intern, an Oberlin College student, is receiving work experience for just this summer. It will be up to the city to keep the database current going forward.
Grubb said the county auditor’s office has said it will alert both the city and her organization to any change in ownership of the properties.
“It’s always going to be an ongoing database, but we have to start somewhere if we want to have a better overview of our downtown,” she said.
Brinda said the information will end up on the city’s website, as well as that of Main Street Elyria and Team Lorain County.
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or email@example.com.