Bellbrook hires revitalization group to conduct downtown assessment

Local News

BELLBROOK, Ohio (WDTN) – Bellbrook city officials are hoping to breathe new life into the downtown area by hiring a revitalization company to conduct an assessment.

Pittsburgh based company “Revitalize or Die” will be conducting the two-day assessment on June 13-14.

Bellbrook city manager, Melissa Dodd, said this will be a holistic approach, as the company will spend the days talking to business owners, community members, and gauging the current downtown scene.

Dodd believes this is the first time in the city’s history that they are focusing efforts on revamping their downtown area.

Revitalize or Die Inc.’s company director is Jeff Siegler, who Dodd said worked with Mainstreet Organization for ten years.

Dodd hopes he will provide some out of the box suggestions that will help fight urban sprawl.

“A lot of our stores downtown, our retail downtown, have closed up shop because they just couldn’t really compete,” said Dodd. “So we need to look for ways to be able to bring that retail downtown and just get people used to coming back downtown to the core, to be able to fulfill all of their needs which is important.”

Dodd said he will conduct a walking tour, do some secret shopping in businesses, and talk to people to see what can be improved.

“He’ll also be looking at some of our zoning code, our ordinances, things like that that could be providing barriers to some of the things that we’re trying to do and he can make recommendations,” said Dodd.

Michael Sabin runs the Bellhop cafe and said the area has a lot of potential but has seen better days.

And he’s not alone.

In fact a group called ‘For Bellbrook By Bellbrook’ gets together at his coffee shop every Wednesday morning to discuss ways to improve foot traffic.

“There’s a lot of interest from both inside and outside the community because we realize that even in the growth areas in Sugarcreek Township which surround Bellbrook, that in order to have a vital healthy community, you need a healthy core,” said Sabin. “So if the heart’s healthy, the rest of the community will be healthy and that’s what we’re after.”

The assessment will occur over on June 13 and 14.

There will be a community presentation and forum coined the “Revitalization Reboot” to be held on Thursday, June 13 at 7 pm at the old Sugarcreek Elementary building located at 51 South East Street in
Bellbrook.

All interested community members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Once the two day assessment is complete, a second visit will be scheduled to deliver the results to
the community.

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