Barry Currin came to Cleveland years ago as a young reporter for the Cleveland Daily Banner. Now, he and his wife, Kim, are business and property owners, and the latest recipients of the MainStreet …
Barry Currin came to Cleveland years ago as a young reporter for the Cleveland Daily Banner. Now, he and his wife, Kim, are business and property owners, and the latest recipients of the MainStreet Cleveland Award for promotion of the city.
The two were visibly surprised over receiving the award at Wednesday night's MainStreet Christmas party, hosted by the Bank of Cleveland. It's an honor Kim Currin became emotional at receiving.
"You are going to make me cry," she said when presented the award, unable to finish her words of gratitude. "I am stunned, honored and humbled."
She admitted that it was difficult for her to even speak as she was so surprised. "As they say, I cry at Geico commercials, so this was overwhelming and it was hard to keep it together," Kim Currin said.
Barry Currin was not at a loss for words, even though he, too, was surprised at the honor.
"To quote Clark Griswold, if I woke up with my head sewed to the carpet, I wouldn't be any more surprised than I am now," he quipped. "This was a total surprise."
Barry Currin said he appreciated the honor, but he and his wife are more pleased with being a part of downtown Cleveland.
"We invested downtown a little over two years ago. We love it down there, and we are excited about what is going to happen. There is an energy downtown that we are very proud to be a part of," Barry said.
"We knew that we wanted to be downtown, looked at several properties including the Old Woolen Mill, and Dr. (Ron) Coleman agreed to sell a small portion of it to us, and we now have three businesses in there and have brought a couple more in," he explained.
The Currins first started their business venture at the small business incubator at Cleveland State Community College, and now own a portion of the Old Woolen Mill. They are owners of three downtown businesses — Glassworks/Kim Currin Creations, Church Street Candle Company and White Oak Advertising and Public Relations.
They are landlords at the mill to the Cleveland Workspace, Old Mill Coffee Company and the Cleveland City Ballet.
To be selected for the award, the recipient must be a current MainStreet Cleveland member, have made a long-term contribution to the downtown community or an impact on downtown in recent years, and exemplify the mission statement of MainStreet Cleveland.
The Currins were found to have met all of those criteria, and now are recipients of the special honor.
"Thank you to everyone involved with MainStreet. We appreciate the honor," Barry Currin said.
• MainStreet Cleveland board chairman Keith Barrett spoke of the progress of the program in 2017. He mentioned the 12 planters placed along Ocoee Street in a partnership with local attorney Robert Thompson, the enhancement grants award to 10 businesses totaling $55,000 with a reinvestment in downtown of nearly a quarter million dollars. The projects that will be paid for through the grants will be completed by June 2018.
Barrett also mentioned the purchase of the old Cherokee Hotel (Summit).
"This is a very exciting time," he said. "We have long dreamed of the opportunity to restore Cleveland's most iconic building. MainStreet Cleveland is proud to be an investment partner with the city of Cleveland in this purchase.
"Redevelopment of this piece of Cleveland's history will be a catalyst to revitalization efforts along Inman Street, the Old Woolen Mill, Whirlpool property and all of downtown," he added. "Thank you to the City Council, mayor and City Manager Joe Fivas for your leadership on the project and investment in the future of downtown."
Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE
Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE
We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.
If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.
Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE