Lima talks entertainment: Goal is to provide larger area for combination of activity

LIMA — New developments are underway in the City of Lima. A newly presented community entertainment district may be coming to the region very soon. The community and economic development committee met Monday evening to discuss the project.

The City of Lima proposed the district. According to the Workforce and Small Business Development coordinator Amber Martin, the CED is defined as a bounded area that includes a combination of entertainment, retail, education, sporting, cultural or arts close to shopping centers, restaurants and so on.

“The CED is a tool for economic development,” said Martin. “It does provide a boundary for an area that is specific to entertainment which includes retail, art, sporting events, theatre, performing arts and movies. All sorts of things that improve our quality of life and add vibrancy to our downtown.”

According to Martin, the district will encompass the North and South ends of Main Street, Grand Avenue to the North and Fourth Street to the South extending into the downtown.

“We hope to provide a larger area for entertainment,” added Martin. “We have heard from owners that purchased property on South Main that are interested in developing. We have plenty of properties for lease and for sale within that area.”

If approved by the Council, the CED will expand a business’s ability (within that boundary) to obtain a D5-J liquor license. This license is a full beer, wine and spirits license, according to Martin.

Community members including Marc Bowker weighed in on the future development.

“I would just ask the gathered group to consider shopping in retail,” said Bowker. “I know this is part of the bigger picture but there is a lot of talk about the liquor license and ‘bar-tainment’. The really big piece that is missing in downtown Lima is shopping.”

The next step for the district is presenting it to Lima City Council for official approval.

“Right now we are in the discussion phase,” said Martin. “Our next step is an application being made to the mayor of Lima. From that point the mayor will take our Council members and Council will then take consideration. There will be a public comment period and then we will move forward from there.”

For more information, contact the Workforce and Small Business Development Coordinator at 419-223-7281.

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.