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Fremont awarded $1.6 million grant for new downtown amphitheater

The location for the proposed project has been vacant for about 30 years.

FREMONT, Ohio — A long-vacant property in downtown Fremont will soon be a gathering place for the entire community.

The lot at the corner of Arch Street and Birchard Avenue has sat vacant for 30 years since a fire destroyed the former building on the property. The city has eyed the empty lot for several years with the intention of fully renovating the space into a new downtown park and amphitheater.

"Our DORA is also located downtown, and we want to be able to have concerts and art production and plays, and just kind of have a nice public venue," Fremont Mayor Danny Sanchez said. "A safe place for people to come and hang out and venture downtown."

The local rotary has been fundraising for the project for a few months. The city was recently awarded $1.6 million in federal funding through office of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and the Investing in Ohio Communities program.

“My office and I regularly host and attend meetings with local leaders, because listening to the concerns facing communities across Ohio is the best way for me to do my job and serve Ohioans,” Brown said “We need to use every tool available to get resources to Ohio, and that’s what we did with these local priorities. The best ideas don’t come out of Washington – they come from Ohioans who know better than anyone what their communities need.”

Credit: City of Fremont
The park and amphitheater is planned to at the corner of Arch Street and Birchard Avenue

Once complete, officials hope the amphitheater can act as not only a central location for events in the city, but a destination for the entire region.

"Now, we have people visiting downtown from all over the place, and all over northwest Ohio," Sanchez said. "We have some of the largest farmers markets in northwest Ohio. And this is just going to be what I would describe as the icing on the cake in downtown and really make Fremont a destination area."

Mayor Sanchez says there is still no definitive timetable for the construction of this amphitheater space, as the city is looking for another $800,000 through fundraising or state funding to get the project rolling.

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