Power Park official to head East End Main Street
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The newly elected president of East End Main Street credited his predecessor with much good work and said he plans to pick up where she left off.
The organization's new officers were sworn in during a meeting on Wednesday. Andy Milovich will take the helm from Mary Anne Crickard, who has headed the board for about eight years.
Milovich is executive vice president of West Virginia Baseball, which is headquartered in the East End's Appalachian Power Park.
"My goal is to continue to advance what we've already started in the East End," Milovich said. "Mary Anne (Crickard) and Ric (Cavender) have done some great things in the last five years."
Cavender is the executive director of East End Main Street.
Milovich said he had no specific goals but plans to continue to pursue new businesses for the community. He also will continue to work with businesses already located in the East End to keep them viable.
Crickard has seen many changes over the past eight years. During that time, East End Main Street moved out from under the umbrella of the Charleston Area Alliance and became a freestanding group.
The East End itself has changed. It's gone from being an area known for crime and blighted properties to an eclectic neighborhood with a growing list of shops and restaurants.
"We've really worked hard to improve the appearance of the East End," Crickard said.
One of the main purposes of East End Main Street was to attract businesses. That can be difficult when business owners don't feel safe in the neighborhood, she said.
Through partnerships with the city and the cooperation of the Charleston Police Department, the East End has seen improvements.
One example of a success story was the construction of Appalachian Power Park in the East End's Warehouse District. The park has helped turn the neighborhood around, Crickard said.
Although Crickard will no longer serve as president, she will remain an active member of the organization in her new role as promotion committee chairwoman.
"I'm not leaving East End Main Street behind," she said. "If I were leaving it behind, it would be a lot harder."
Crickard will soon start to promote the furniture and home improvement businesses in the East End's Warehouse District.
Board members also discussed next month's activities for HallowEast, including the zombie walk and the addition of the Haunted Barn.
The Haunted Barn, which was formerly located in Putnam County, will open at the corner of Lewis and Beauregard streets on Oct. 6. Hours will be 7 p.m. to midnight.
Zombies will gather at 5 p.m. Oct. 27 at Moxxee coffee shop at the corner of Lee and Morris streets. The undead will begin shuffling up Morris Street to Quarrier Street at 6 p.m.
The walk will proceed down Quarrier to Elizabeth Street, where it will end at the corner of Washington Street East, which will be the site of the East End Pub Crawl, said Lori Brannon, a neighborhood planner and East End Main Street board member.
Cavender pointed out that HallowEast, which is a major fundraiser for the organization, has also served to attract two new businesses to the area.
"We had Magic Makers and the Haunted Barn come to the East End because of HallowEast," he said.
Board members also voted to allow Cavender to attend a Board of Zoning Appeals meeting at 8:30 a.m. today to show his support for a request by the owner of One Stop to install a digital sign at the Washington Street East store.
A city ordinance prohibits the installation of digital signs, but the zoning board can grant variances on a case-by-case basis.