Downtown Vineland: Stop, LookBe Amazed

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swansonDowntown Vineland


By Russell Swanson, Exec. Director, VDID / Main Street Vineland


A Columnist for the Grapevine Newspaper


 
Take a moment to look—really look—at what’s happening in Downtown Vineland.
Sometimes when we travel back and forth in and out of downtown, it’s hard to stop and think about all that’s going on all over—in the east end, west end, and center city—that’s going to have a major impact on the future of downtown Vineland.
Just take a moment to think about this, starting at the eastern gateway to our downtown. Further demolition and then construction is going to begin very soon on the south side of Landis Avenue between East Avenue and Myrtle Street. A beautiful combination of age-restricted housing and retail will soon rise there to truly enhance this entranceway to our downtown. This is not to mention the redevelopment of the Newcomb Hospital site, which will also have a positive effect on our downtown.
Moving to the 800 block, the Landis Theater is going to be abuzz with activity as the Bay Atlantic Symphony makes the theater its Vineland home starting this coming season and other musical and theater activity is being lined up. We also are looking forward to the reopening of Mori’s, thanks to a prospect from our last broker tour, and the banquet hall is available for weddings, parties, and other functions.
Meanwhile, we have action in the downtown blocks. We look forward to the opening of a microbrewery on the 600 block. Microbreweries have been very popular destinations in other Main Street areas and we look forward to it being a magnet for millennials and other age groups here. Friends and Family Diner, at Sixth and Landis, has been taking advantage of our Fourth Friday activities with a karaoke night. Main Street Vineland Business Development Director Robert Scarpa has also been aggressively pursuing other exciting businesses for our downtown.
Moving further west, the mini-parks at the Boulevard and Landis have become greater focal points. Volunteers from the Police Athletic League’s Girls In Action and Vineland High School’s Interact Club have joined us in beautifying the parks with flowers and I must give shout-outs to Design Team Chairperson Maryam Nassiri and our Maintenance Man/Downtown Ambassador Wayne Joslin, who have done tremendous work in this regard. I must also thank Ivy Acres of Vineland, which has gone above and beyond the call of duty in donating the flowers for these and other projects. The southwest mini-park also comes alive each Fourth Friday for our Fitness and Film projects, the details of which I outlined in last week’s column.
Let’s move down to West and Landis and see the former automobile dealership/dollar store on the southwest corner being turned into a beautiful, spacious clinic for our veterans.
As we head toward Delsea Drive, we will see much more redevelopment work going on at the Vineland Shopping Center, turning that into a real shopping mecca. Movement on that is in the works right now.
Crossing Delsea Drive, a new food shopping destination is in the works, as Lidl, a German supermarket chain similar to Aldi’s, is planning to open in space across from Walmart.
This is just a quick tour of what’s been happening. A lot of the credit must go to Scarpa, working with the City of Vineland’s Department of Economic Development—who have been working tirelessly to make all this a reality.
So, when people tell you that nothing’s happening or changing downtown, just show them the list in this column. While you’re at it, show them the Fourth Friday list of events in last week’s column and invite them to come down and see for themselves.
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Make downtown Vineland your destination for your shopping needs, as well as for fun all year round. Save money on gasoline, avoid the long lines at the big-box stores, malls, and shopping centers—and also enjoy the events we have in town.
For more information on Main Street Vineland, call 856-794-8653, visit mainstreetvineland.org or check them out on Facebook. You can also e-mail rswanson@vi