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Excitement is Building

by Marianne Lods, Executive Director

There is a great deal of excitement in the air on High Street in the Glasstown Arts District. On the evening of April 28, the Millville Development Corporation hosted a Business and Building Owners’ Meet & Greet at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts.

The City’s new mayor, Lisa Orndorf, was our guest of honor and she was introduced to 40 owners representing 20 businesses and/or buildings. There was time for everyone to have several minutes of one-on-one conversation with the mayor. Also in attendance were City business administrator Ray Compari, and City’s parks and recreation director Samantha Cruz, who also serves as the assistant to the mayor.

Hosting the event was Millville Development’s economic development committee. The mission of the organization is to “advocate for the arts as a means of community and economic revitalization by advancing the Glasstown Arts District and center city neighborhood.”

“The committee members and I were able to spend valuable time with the owners getting to know their current needs and how their renovations are progressing,” Allison Corson, chairwoman of Millville Development said. “Committee members were excited to learn that within the next several months, new retail businesses will be opening their doors. As each one marks its grand opening, it will create excitement and people will be looking forward to what’s next.”.

“Each time the exterior façade of a building is improved by adding new windows and doors, repainting, and more, the buzz in the commercial real estate sector grows,” said committee member Mike DePalma of DePalma Realty, LLC.

And it’s not just on the outside of buildings; many are undergoing a total makeover on the inside. Entrepreneurs want to bring their business plans and dreams to reality in spaces that have been remodeled and restored to the beauty that many enjoyed 100 years earlier.

The public will be wowed each time they visit to see a show at the Levoy Theatre, visit art exhibits in the Riverfront Center and at the Village on High. Adding new retail businesses and commercial services to High Street and the District is vital to the growth of our entire community.

People from the city and county frequently ask me what is on the horizon, and I’m happy to tell them that 2022 is a year of opportunity. There is also a new restaurant in the planning stage, although it is too early to unveil details.

Two of the large renovations going on now will add 15 new luxury apartments on the upper floors. Availability of rental apartments is very low here and across and nation. These new units will be added to the inventory downtown and we trust that they won’t be on the market for long once they are completed.

There are two other large buildings that added new apartments or refurbished units. They were filled almost immediately. When a tenant moves out of one of these, it is leased to a new tenant within days.

So, do you have a great business idea? Do you have a dream to be an entrepreneur? Call me or e-mail me. I’ll be happy to sit down with you and discuss and help you make your dream a reality. Contact me at 856-293-0556 or

Millville Matters