Ashland University students to study uptown Norwalk

Uptown Norwalk will be the focus for an upper-level marketing class at Ashland University soon as the class studies the effects of revitalization completed almost 10 years ago and maps out what the area needs next. The 20 students in "Special Topics in Marketing, Business 451" will survey all uptown businesses and random consumers in both uptown and the north end of the city for their class project. They will gather data in February and March.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

Uptown Norwalk will be the focus for an upper-level marketing class at Ashland University soon as the class studies the effects of revitalization completed almost 10 years ago and maps out what the area needs next.

The 20 students in "Special Topics in Marketing, Business 451" will survey all uptown businesses and random consumers in both uptown and the north end of the city for their class project. They will gather data in February and March.

Dave Gulden, Main Street manager, and Bethany Dentler, economic development director for the Norwalk area, said the results of the study will help determine what type of businesses might come to the uptown area.

"If we were to pay for this study, it would be very expensive," Gulden said. He said the cooperative effort between Uptown Norwalk and Ashland University is a win-win situation the city gets important information and the students get valuable experience.

Dentler said the timing for the study is great for the city.

"It is always helpful to take a look back and then see where we are now," she said, adding that since the revitalization project was completed in 1999 the uptown area has not undertaken an economic impact study to look at the long-term effects of the project.

Among other things, Dentler said, the study will help assess how much uptown Norwalk contributes to the city's tax base. It will also help determine consumer satisfaction, technical assistance needs and also help target businesses to attract, she said.

Professor Kristen Hovsepian, who has taught marketing and business at Ashland for 27 years, said her class completed a similar study for Willard a few years ago. She teams up with the small business development center based at the university for the class.

She said the class will use statistical analysis to come up with data to present in a public meeting in late April in Norwalk.

If they have time, the college students also will look at property values, tax information and other data, but Hovsepian said that part of the study might have to wait until the fall semester.

"It may be something we pick up where we leave off next fall," she said, because of the in-depth research necessary for the first part of the project.

To make sure students are prepared to talk to a random sample of consumers, Hovsepian said, the consumer surveys will be available in both English and Spanish.

Comments

Jon (Anonymous)

This kind of study is great, but my question is: What is Bethany Dentler and Dave Gulden's jobs? Aren't they supposed to be marketing Norwalk?

JEF (Anonymous)

When the goin' gets tough, the bureaucrats conduct a study, a panel or a symposium.

Such activity helps to give the illusion of action. However, unless the results are constructively and decisively acted upon, it becomes yet another case of form over substance.

The absolute simple fact is that the tax environment and the regulatory structure of the city, the county and the state of Ohio is absolutely broken.

Like the drunk who searches for his car keys near a street light, while having lost them elsewhere, this study while it will most likely make for interesting reading is a simple case of misplaced effort.

Hopefully all the students will get an A for this study, but it will unlikely change the grade of F for state and local bureaucrats.

Mike (Anonymous)

this story is too funny; the irony of our paid professionals anxiously awaiting the results of a survey conducted by college students with limited training and experience; maybe this survey will help me determine whether to open a flower shop, antique shop, or an insurance office! lol lol lol lol

JEF (Anonymous)

Mike, an ironic and amusing observation.

why (Anonymous)

Do we have bethany dentler working for our city when she has done nothing for our economic situation, unless applebees counts. formal mayor thomas cochrans plan was to bring industry via huron county airport, maybe dentler should attend the ashland project maybe she will learn something.

just a local re...

Do we really need people to study what this town needs??

Its kinda obvious that we need to finish the bypass. If we don't do this within the the next 10-20 years our town will be a real mess of traffic and by that time there will be so much residential development there will be no where to put the bypass. The longer they wait the more difficult it'll be.

Just as obvious is that they need to widen rt.250 south of norwalk. I keep asking myself, how many more people do we have to watch get seriously injured/killed because of this town's "death road." The modifications they've recently done are absolutely ignorant! Why would you lower the speed limit further out of town when the semi's have a hard enough time getting up to speed from all those red lights recently installed ( the one at the hospital is worthless, absolutely worthless. When I get stopped at that light, I treat it as a four way stop. I look for other traffic and if there is none, I proceed on my way.)

They also made it more difficult to pass those slow moving semi's by not only reducing the speed limit, but also by using this area as a target enforcement area, and by putting that idiotic rumble strip on both sides of the lanes.

So if you think about it, travelling south on 250 from sandusky, you could get stuck behind a slow moving semi at the light in Milan and be stuck behind the same slow moving semi for miles. all the way through town, out of town on 250, now your going insane since its been about 15mins of following a big white slow moving box. Now you are desperate to pass. Only problem is the grading of 250 south of norwalk couldn't be any worse for passing. Its constantly gradual up and gradual down. It'll look like no one's coming, then as you get into the opposite lane to pass, a semi emerges from no where. Now if you really run out of luck you've got no time to finish passing and there's a semi in your lane and one coming head on. Your first thought would be slow down and pull onto the shoulder. Oh, there's no shoulder either. 250 south of norwalk has to be one of the narrowest state routes around.

I'm not even considering how bad 250 is in the winter with the snow drifts. This road needs to be torn up, re-graded and widened before more innocent lives are lost!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

once we get all the "travelling through" traffic out of uptown, maybe it'd be easier to frequent an uptown business.

I could go on and on...........................And I just live here, never spent a second inside a college.

JEF (Anonymous)

I remember uptown (downtown) appearing to be economically vibrant BEFORE the Rt. 20 bypass was built. Did you ever think that perhaps out-of-town traffic traveling through uptown (downtown) was a positive not a negative variable.

Long before the Ohio Turnpike, Rt. 20 was a main thoroughfare between NYC and Chicago.

I don't agree that having better roadways to travel around Norwalk is economically positive for the local business community.

JEF (Anonymous)

Perhaps Professor Hovsepian and her students should look at Norwalk's underutilized web site and could make some positive suggestions.

I know (Anonymous)

what downtown norwalk needs---the courthouse and county offices need to move out by shady lane. That way downtown norwalk will finally die a natural death. It will never be like it was---and you have to wonder who norwalk will make rich--when it decides to build a new firestation--the well paid people that are head of the organizations that want to promote downtown norwalk--will just move on to bigger and better paying cities. Norwalk needs to worry what's happening to some of the neighborhoods. Drive around in the summer, around night time. But in the end it's the poor and the working poor that are left in the dust.

High rents and a lot of substandard housing units. The rich of norwalk get richer. Just when is the city going to condemn the old childrens home on benedict. Where is the zoning and health inspectors. Downtown norwalk going to the devil is not, Norwalks biggest problem.

It could be wor...

As a resident of a City to the south of Norwalk, I am telling you to look at the bright side. It could be much worse, you could be living in Willard.

we all love cit...

I don't agree that having better roadways to travel around Norwalk is economically positive for the local business community. "

This comment makes sense considering there are always tons of parking spaces up town and if you drive through main st, benedict, league or milan ave between 9-5 or anytime during the weekend while cedar point is open, its always so easy to get through town!!!

Just think about if /when all these new places open up out by the movie theater, all that traffic on a 2 lane road where no one knows to use the turn lane. Then everyone coming in and out of that plaza will be able to utilize one, maybe two different entrances, onto this 2 lane road allready congested with heavy traffic. looks like a big mess in the making to me. But hey, lets just wait and see what happens, then try and find a solution.

we all love cit...

I remember uptown (downtown) appearing to be economically vibrant BEFORE the Rt. 20 bypass was built. Did you ever think that perhaps out-of-town traffic traveling through uptown (downtown) was a positive not a negative variable.

Oh yes, I see those semi's stopping up town to eat at Berrys, shop at the antique store and have a beer at the glass all the time!

Even with a bypass, if there were enough places up town to make it worth stopping, people who wanted to see/stop would exit and drive through, it would be even easier for them to do so since there would be less traffic, since most travelling through would be on the bypass.

we all love cit...

besides, do you have any statistics on how many vehicles were on the road then, the number of street lights in norwalk, and how many lanes ran through norwalk?? Just a tad bit different times we're living in today. Get in your big gas guzzling tank and take the family for a trip down the old highways and stop at the local towns. I travel to bellevue all the time just to experience the local businesses, right.