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Downtown Lorain seeing small business growth

From renderings to reality, downtown Lorain's new streetscape is taking shape and new business are moving in.

LORAIN, Ohio — From renderings to reality, downtown Lorain's new streetscape is taking shape and new businesses are moving in.

“It’s so exciting to see all the energy and all the businesses getting together to make things happen in Lorain,” says Ariel On Broadway Owner, Radhika Reddy.

Reddy and her partners are renovating an historic building and transforming it into an updated hotel and event center.

It would be the first hotel to open in the city in years. Reddy is taking over a space that was once set to be demolished.

She’s behind Ariel International Center and Ariel Pearl Center in Cleveland which are both event spaces.

“My passion is undertaking challenging, transformative projects that are catalytic and really help low income neighborhoods,” she says.

“That’s such a joy and rewarding to be part of a catalytic transformation of a city or of a neighborhood, especially something like Lorain that has so much potential.”

Reddy says since work started on the hotel in March, nearly a dozen new businesses, bars or restaurants have opened downtown.

“My philosophy is Lorain is open for business,” says Mayor-Elect, Jack Bradley.

Bradley is creating a business concierge position when he takes over in January.  The person will be dedicated to working with young entrepreneurs to encourage them to come to Lorain.

“Once people are brought downtown, property values start to go up, our schools improve and then the bigger business will locate to Lorain, Ohio,” he says.

Lorain Port Authority Board Chairman, Brad Mullins, says they are entertaining new business opportunities at a vacant industrial park on the city’s east side.

Oasis Marinas will take over the city’s marina in January which is believed will bring more business growth to the area.