Cleveland businessman and preservationist Nicholas Lillios was chosen to receive MainStreet Cleveland’s annual award for his service and commitment during the 2013 Christmas party held at the Bank of Cleveland Wednesday.
Joe Burton, MainStreet president, said Lillios was the only board member to serve two terms as president of the organization since it was established 23 years ago.
“He is a lifelong resident of downtown Cleveland and a visionary who has invested in downtown and repurposed many vacant buildings. All of his properties are in the central business district and historic neighborhood association,” Burton said.
Lillios served six years on the MainStreet Cleveland board of directors.
According to Burton, Lillios has been consistent in finding, reclaiming and repurposing properties in the downtown area.
The most recent project completed was the former C.C. Card Motor Co. building which is located on Inman Street, next door to another Lillios project, CapitalMark Bank’s building.
Lillios converted the old car dealership into 14 loft apartments.
He has also repurposed the Flat Iron building and several other projects to bring both residential and business tenants into the downtown area.
Lillios was also active in fundraising and design of the First Street Square project.
He is active in the Historic Neighborhood Association, past president and board member of the Museum Center at Five Points, president-elect of the Cleveland Rotary Club and serves on the Bradley County Board of Education. He is also a volunteer at the Tennessee Aquarium.
Also recognized at the annual MainStreet Christmas gathering was past-president Kathy Rohsenberger.
Marr presented her a plaque for her volunteer efforts.
“Kathy continues to be active in planning and execution of downtown events projects,” Marr said.
“Speaking of MainStreet events, our weekend of Christmas festivities begins Friday,” Marr added.
Marr said weather could be an issue as the downtown Christmas tree lighting and Carols in the City are held at the Courthouse Annex on Broad Street.
She said Saturday’s annual Cleveland Christmas Parade will go rain or shine, but weather conditions are supposed to be much drier by Saturday afternoon.
A Classic Christmas in Cleveland begins with the annual tree lighting at 6 p.m. and Carols in the City. The entry deadline for the parade is fast approaching.
Santa Claus is expected to be there to help turn the lights on the holiday tree.
He is also scheduled to begin visiting with area children in preparation for Christmas Eve.
Marr said Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the Bandstand on the Courthouse Square immediately after the tree-lighting ceremony.
Carriage rides will also be free of charge to those who wish to participate. The carriage will tour the historic downtown Cleveland streets.
On Sunday, beginning at 3 p.m., the 25th annual Classic Christmas Concert will be held at Lee University’s Conn Center. The concert is free, but tickets are required. More ticket information can be obtained by calling 641-8240.
The parade begins at Bradley Central High School at 6 p.m.
Marr said more than 200 entries were registered and expected to participate.
“Departing from Bradley Central High School, the parade will travel north on Highway 11, east on 3rd Street, north on Ocoee Street, around the monument, south on Broad Street, west on Inman Street, south on Highway 11 and then back to the high school,” Marr said. More information on the festivities is available by calling 479-1000 or visiting www.mainstreetcleveland.com.
Marr also noted that officials will be monitoring weather conditions for Friday’s Classic Christmas in Cleveland kickoff, and information will be posted on the website.