Experience the Heart of Kendallville is our Indiana Main Street Organization, which actively seeks opportunities to develop and grow our downtown (Main Street) business corridor. The group focuses on four major areas of advancement: Marketing and Promotions, Economic Development, Downtown Design, and Governance.
This group is integral in helping the City of Kendallville obtain a $600,000 grant from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) to upgrade our downtown streetscape in 2020, including new sidewalks, lighting/electrical, landscaping and other aesthetics. The group also hosts several events and festivals each year to draw residents and visitors to our beautiful and historic downtown district. Below are some of these events planned by the group.
To learn more about any of the events listed here, please contact the Kendallville Chamber at 260-347-1554 or email@example.com.
Sip, Sample, Shop
Fairy, Gnome & Troll Festival
Community-Wide Garage Sales
Kendallville Car Show
Art on Main
Trick or Treat on Main
Jingle & Mingle
Kendallville Christmas Parade
Board and Volunteers
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Design Committee Updates:
The EHK Design meeting recently held a public meeting to discuss setting minimum downtown standards for building owners. These standards include the following guidelines, which have been sent to the City’s Law and Ordinance Committee for review and approval:
- Property owner will repair or replace damaged glass and windows within 90 days of incident/damage.
- Property owners with boarded up or otherwise “covered” glass or windows will have them repaired within 90 days of damage or notice from the city.
- Excessive chipping or peeling paint will be repaired by property owner within 90 days of damage or notice from the city.
- Property owners will repair or replace awnings with excessive tears, fading or other damage within 90 days of damage or notice from the city.
- Property owners will have current and professional looking signage (no hand-painted signs or vinyl banners) within 90 days of opening a business.
- Property owners shall repair apartment doors, window frames, rear doors, and other façade features within 90 days of damage or notice from the city.
- Property owners will remove graffiti within 90 days of damage or notice from the city.
Extensions may be made on a case-by-case basis for owners showing progress towards repairs.
In an effort to support the downtown business owners and merchants, the Experience the Heart of Kendallville (EHK) has committed to:
- Work with service providers in an effort to obtain bundled discounts on painting, awnings, or other façade features.
- Solicit a volunteer committee to help with things like making curtains for upstairs windows, cleaning out vacant businesses, decorating vacant storefronts, and other beautification efforts on an annual basis, and upon request.
- Work on bringing additional art installations to downtown.
- Work to find an affordable service to provide property design and renderings to those who need it.
- Seek billboard opportunities on SR 3 and US 6 to promote the downtown corridor.
- Provide downtown property owners and merchants with a list of events for 2020.
- Work to attract restaurants, boutiques, breweries and other desired businesses to the downtown area.
- Schedule regular meetings with downtown property owners and merchants to keep them updated on issues that matter, including the streetscape in 2020.
Marketing Committee Updates:
The EHK Marketing Committee recently met to discuss the best way to market and provide support for upcoming events in the downtown area. Especially since downtown will be undergoing construction work throughout the summer. Several ideas were suggested with regard to logistical changes, which will be further investigated and reported at the next meeting.
NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 crisis and the stay at home order in place, the Fairy, Gnome and Troll Festival has been cancelled for 2020.
When we first moved back to Kendallville, Cindy and I attended the Chamber Christmas parade and kept saying to ourselves “Bedford Falls.” (From “It’s a Wonderful Life.”) Kendallville is comfortable, it’s family and it’s home.” I love Kendallville.
— Scott Frick, CPA