Meow… and More

by Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland

The “walking tour of The Ave” is finished and, while we’re resting our feet, let’s do some analyzing of the data—a sort of “tale of the tape.”

We’re talking about the 10 blocks that make up our Special Improvement District, which is called the Vineland Downtown Improvement District. Our Main Street district also shares those boundaries. The streetscape is densest in the middle area (our central business area) and thins out on either end.

Within that area, based on the walk, we count over 200 businesses. That number swells to about 250, if you count the approximately 50 vendors located in The Spot—on the 600 block of Landis Avenue—(which, for the sake of space, were not listed in the column for that block but which can be considered individual businesses). To give a detailed analysis of the businesses would require a spreadsheet, not a column. Space doesn’t even permit an exhaustive listing of the types of businesses we have.

I can give you a rough idea, however (in no particular order)—churches and ministries, schools, various types of doctors, auto care, apartments, convenience stores, entertainment facilities, event venues, attorneys, shoe stores, formal wear, bridal wear, pharmacies, appliance stores, banks and credit unions, apartments, motels, barbers/hair stylists, beauticians, staffing agencies, restaurants (featuring a wide variety of ethnic cuisines, eye care, insurance agencies, accountants, check cashing, realtors, transportation, jewelers, dry cleaning, photographers, florists, cell phones, gas stations, furniture stores, and electrical supplies.

We have boasted in past columns about how our downtown is a destination for restaurants featuring almost a dozen types of ethnic cuisines, and of wedding-related businesses. We have built events around those assets of our downtown—Dine on The Ave and Weddings on The Ave. We have an especially large Special Improvement District/Main Street zone, which presents certain challenges, but also provides opportunities to capitalize on the number and types of businesses—with events, seminars, Mix, Mingle & Meets/Meet-and-Greets, and other ways we bring businesses together.

The Ave, like any downtown, is dynamic. Businesses open, close, move, change management, merge, and change in other ways. We do our best to keep track of these changes and work to keep our downtown—The Ave—the best it can be.

So, if anyone who hasn’t been downtown for a while asks you what there is on The Ave to boast about—you can tell them, in a very polite, positive way, to go take a walk.

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This is your last reminder to come and see some fun, frisky felines on The Ave as the Empire Cat Club presents “The Empire Returns,” a Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) sanctioned all-breed cat show, this Saturday, February 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Landis MarketPlace, 631 E. Landis Ave., Vineland. Tickets for the show—$8 adults, $6 ages 6 to 12, and free for kids under age 6—can be purchased at the door. Free parking is available at the rear of the marketplace. For more details or to volunteer, e-mail chestnutrunfarm@aol.com.

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We’re proud to be presenting a free concert by the U.S. Air Force Heritage Brass of the USAF Heritage of America Band on Saturday, March 14, at 3 p.m., at the Landis Theater, 830 E. Landis Ave. We are grateful to Samuel Coraluzzo Co., Inc./Torrissi Transport for sponsoring this concert, which will show off the ensemble’s wide repertoire of music, including classical, patriotic, and jazz selections to new compositions and distinctive arrangements. Seating is open—first come, first served. No ticket is necessary.

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On The Ave