New "parklet" in Kendallville turning heads - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

New "parklet" in Kendallville turning heads

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KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (WPTA 21) -

Leaders in Kendallville are planning to host more events and festivals along the town's Main Street, where a new space there is attracting quite a bit of attention.

"We hope it will help the restaurants, it will help everything downtown," Kendallville Mayor Suzanne Handshoe says.
The industrial design that resembles a dumpster along Main Street reveals a surprise when you see the other side.
It's not a park, but a parklet, a space that's been locally designed to attract people downtown.

"It's awesome, I love it. You can see everyone walking by, and it's a great place to see new people and meet new people, and really enjoy Kendallville around you," resident Hailey Meyer says.
Main Street has wide sidewalks but no places to sit, so making the thoroughfare more inviting to pedestrians will help attract them to new events planned for the area.

"Maybe getting some food trucks and working with the local businesses here along Main Street, and having some entertainment up here on the little high rise and have some place for that as well. Just to bring people downtown," says Taylor Yoder from Activate Noble County.
Kendallville's Rotary Club raised the $40,000 to build the parklet.
An awning is still in the works to provide some shade, but people are already flocking to it.

"Every time I drive down here at night, I'll see people out here eating ice cream or bringing out a pizza or just sitting around downtown. So it does what we want. We want people to think of our downtown as a walkable place that's pedestrian friendly," says the Rotary Club's RJ Ruse.
But this parklet wasn't just designed as a cute meeting spot, although that is exactly what it is. It also was designed very specifically with economic development in mind.
"We have free wifi downtown. It's only going to entice other businesses to want to be here because they want to be where the people are. And by having festivals and events, gathering spaces like this, we have benches that will be put in place later," says Lynnette Leamon from the Kendallville Chamber of Commerce.

"We are looking at a second one to be placed on the other block further south on the other side of the street, so that both sides of the street that having eating establishments can be able to utilize both," Mayor Handshoe says.
The parklet takes up two parking spaces in front of the Chamber of Commerce office, but it's in four sections so it can be moved in the winter to allow city crews to plow.
A mural or wrap is planned to help soften the industrial look of the outside.

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