Downtown Defiance is preparing for a significant business development at a busy intersection.
That topic was one highlight of city council’s regular meeting Tuesday night when an internet provider also presented plans for a major fiber optic project throughout town (see related story), and council approved salary and benefits for a new human resources director (see related story).
Mayor Mike McCann told council that sidewalks and some parking will close next week when a large business investment kicks off downtown at the southwest corner of Clinton and East Second streets.
Local businessman Bryan Keller is planning to invest a considerable amount — likely more than $1 million — to improve the building there with a restaurant on the main floor and new apartments on the upper two floors.
The building at 300 Clinton Street has been occupied for years by Fifth Stitch, a business operated by Ellen Upp. She and her husband sold the building to BK Independent Production, LLC, in 2015, which transferred it to 300 North Clinton, LLC, in 2018, according to the Defiance County Auditor’s Office website.
According to McCann, Keller has received a license-to-occupy public right-of-way to allow sidewalk closure on the north side of the building along East Second Street (west of the Clinton Street intersection).
Angle parking there also will close while the project is underway while a sidewalk closure along Clinton Street at the front entrance to the building will be permitted as well.
McCann told council Tuesday that the closures will last 4-5 months as exterior work on the building takes place. Work on the interior will follow, he said, suggesting that in a year’s time the project might be completed.
The plan is being enthusiastically embraced by Kirstie Mack, executive director of the Defiance Development and Visitors Bureau located across the street from the building in the same 300 block of Clinton Street. She told The Crescent-News during an interview Tuesday that the project has been discussed for years.
“The community is very excited to see the project,” she said. “The community is very ready to see it come to life.”
McCann echoed Mack’s support.
This project has has been under discussion for a couple years now and we are excited to finally see things get underway,” he commented during an interview earlier Tuesday. “We believe it’s a real game-changer for our downtown.”