Date: Friday, July 23, 2021

Publication: Mt. Vernon Sentinel

Author: Travis Moore

The Downtown Mount Vernon Development has moved into a new building downtown at 116 S. Ninth St. DMDC officials say the new location is a major upgrade compared to the organization’s former office at 809 Main St. The Greater Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and DMDC held a ribbon cutting and open house at the new Ninth Street location on Wednesday.

“We are extremely thankful to have such a tremendous space,” said DMDC Executive Director Brian Harland. “This location is not only going to give us a great working environment but also more opportunities to interact with the people. We’ve already had a few visitors stop in and ask about the area. More importantly, though, this gives us an opportunity to illustrate what a business can look like downtown.”

According to sentinel archives, the DMDC moved out of 809 Main St. earlier this year mainly because the size of the building was too large for the two-person staff that makes up the agency. Plus, officials say the old building was in need of renovations. The DMDC previously had an agreement with the city allowing them to use the Main Street site for its offices at no charge.

The DMDC temporarily moved into the offices of the Jefferson County Development Corporation at the Muni-West Building until a more suitable permanent location was found downtown.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mike Beard said DMDC’s new office space is “absolutely beautiful.”

“It is a showcase for other folks who might want to consider putting a business downtown because this (shows) that just some work and money put into a downtown facility can really turn out to be a beautiful facility, one you would be proud to put a business in,” Beard said.

Mayor John Lewis also remarked Thursday on the quality of the DMDC’s new location.

“I was really amazed out how new that building has been rehabilitated that they’ve moved into,” Lewis said. “It’s so much nicer than where they were before. I think people coming into visit DMDC for possible investment, it’ll go a long way for them to have faith in what’s going on in the downtown area. It’s an impressive office.”

The City of Mount Vernon is planning to sell the former DMDC building 809 Main St. City officials are hoping to sell the now vacant building to a company or developer that can make use of it. The building has been appraised at around $67,000 but it’s unclear if the city will get that much for it, Lewis said.

For more information, visit the DMDC’s new office at 116 S. Ninth St, or call the organization at (618) 242-6866   tmorse@morningsentinel.com