Newark, Ohio Downtown Project

There’s a new $4,000,000 project in the works for Downtown Newark, Ohio. The plan is for a farmer’s market, public restrooms, and a park-like area. This plan rendering was passed out by Wachtel & McAnally

Newark, Ohio future farmer's market plans.

Plan rendering for downtown Newark, Ohio farmer’s market and park.

I went and listened to the speech where the speakers thoroughly discussed the history of canal street and explained that they wanted to bring the area back to it’s place of prominence. They feel that these plans for a farmer’s market and “green space” will do the trick. The new Canal District Market plan was shrouded in secrecy(with numerous leaks of course) and it was announced that it would be a public/private agreement with the TJ Evans Foundation. It’s easy to get lost in the details from that point, at least it was for me. 

I’d like to say this will be nice. It probably will be. The problem is that much of it makes no sense. There has been a constant complaint about parking in downtown Newark, Ohio. Many like myself just don’t get it. There is plenty of parking right where this project is going to take place. That does not stop The Downtown Newark Association, every new round of politicians, and government employees from constantly spending money on studies to show that Newark needs grants and other forms of tax dollars to improve the parking. Along comes this project that detracts from the amount of parking and I see these groups applauding the effort. It makes the claim of lack of parking as the primary reason for the decline of Newark’s downtown seem like even more of a fallacy. 

It will be interesting to see the project happen regardless of the confusion and questionable spending surrounding it. I also await the outcome of what the effect of a project like this really does for the area.