Starting in July, a new renovation project will be kicking off on the south side of Newark.
Tuesday, the Thomas J. Evans foundation announced the new the Canal Market District, a revitalization project just south of Court House Square. It will encompass the entire area and include a Canal Market Plaza, renovated parking garage, Walnut Street parks and the jail.
"There was a canal that used to come through here, because that's how dry goods came in. This old jail here was really brought in by canal boat, all the stones," said Jeff Hall, Mayor of Newark. "Many of these people who came today, they love their history, and that's why they love this town. So we capitalize on that, you'll see the new project has a very nostalgic look to it. That's all custom iron, custom work that will be made beautiful and will fit into the surrounding areas."
The Canal Market Plaza, fashioned after Cincinnati's Findlay Market, will provide an area of revitalization dedicated to the counties history and culture.
"If you imagine these pictures have a great image of it but think of the magnitude as you stand on this, a whole block long is what this is going to be, with the center pavilion, said Mayor Hal. "As you get down into the grass areas there's going to be two smaller pavilions where weddings might be held. This old jail from back in the 1800's is going to be apart of that because we're working hard to renovate it and have tours in it, so this might be a good staging location. So yeah I think we're going to rival everything in the state."
The Canal Market District, part of the "Re-Newark" initiative, will stand as a testament to Licking County's commitment to revitalization, sense of community and welcoming spirit. The goal is to complete the project by Spring 2016.