The city of Port Clinton is working to bring some old buildings back to life.
As the tourism season rolls back into town, city officials say three new businesses could be opening up shop.
Some residents of Port Clinton have complained of empty buildings becoming an "eye sore" to the city, however, Mayor Vincent Leone says, he viewers the structures as opportunity.
"There are a lot of different plans going on, and they take time," said Leone. "They don't happen overnight."
The mayor says a new downtown sports bar/restaurant and an ice cream shop is expected to open in April. A new Mexican tapas restaurant is currently under renovation.
While Leone would not comment much on the business deals, he said "A lot of great action is going on. For a little town, we're very busy."
There is also talks of a women's clothing store opening up shop, possibly in the downtown area.
Leone says time, money and vision are all factors in filling the empty buildings with new stores.
"What we may consider an eye sore, an architect, or someone that has a degree in design, they see art there!," said Leone. He added, "They know how to transform and keep some of that original architecture, which is the character of the city of Port Clinton, improve it, and make it a viable place to create a business."
Leone says Port Clinton is hoping to receive grant money to help fund some of the city's improvement projects.
Planning is still underway for a 14-acre fishing lodge that would go up at Waterworks Park. While many residents have been vocal in opposing the plan, the mayor says it is a project that will help bring revenue into the city. Public hearings have been held to get input from residents on the project. Leone says their opinions have been taken into account, and plans are in the works to add public access points and a green space to the area once construction begins.
"We are a quaint, beautiful little town, situated right on the lake and the river...very unique to anywhere else," said Leone. "We want to keep some of that original character and history, but we also know that we need to continue to improve and attract new businesses to keep our community very vibrant and alive," said Leone.
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