Joe Brewer took over as the new executive director of Logan’s Landing on July 11. He was thrown directly into the fire.
Tonight, Logan’s Landing hosts its biggest fundraiser of the year: The Taste 2022. The event features multiple Logansport food vendors and organizations, live music and more.
The Taste runs from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and will be located on Melbourne Ave.
Brewer said he dedicated most of his first month to The Taste and was grateful to everyone involved at Logan’s Landing who helped along the way, from board members to volunteers.
Born and raised in Logansport, Brewer joined the Air Force after graduating from high school and served for four years. He returned to Logansport and started a family and ran his own car detailing business for nearly 20 years.
“More or less, I got to the age where there was too much wear and tear on my body,” he said. “I wanted to do something different, not the physical labor type jobs.”
His experience as a long-time business owner, his ability to write grants and work with funds, made him an ideal candidate to take on the role.
“Logan’s Landing gives downtown a voice,” said Brewer. “We promote and celebrate the Downtown District by engaging with community leaders, local organizations, business owners and residents. We want Downtown to be an attractive, vibrant designation that honors the cultural diversity of the community.
Brewer took time out of his busy schedule to speak to the Pharos-Tribune about his goals as executive director and his vision for downtown Logansport.
What are your goals as the new General Manager of Logan’s Landing?
I want to be someone downtown business owners can call if they have a question. If there’s something going on that they want to know about, whether it’s downtown revitalization, grants, different things like that. I want this office to be a place where they can call and talk about different things and hopefully get the information they need.
I hope to partner with other organizations, be it the Chamber or the Visitors’ Bureau.
I also hope that we can get downtown businesses to work together, to leverage the art scene – murals, music – so that people come to downtown and be a part of it and that will inspire other businesses to see downtown as a viable home.
I also want to recognize our diversity and try to organize events for our Latino community or other growing communities so they see that we want them to come downtown and have something to enjoy too .
I would like to do other events. Maybe First Friday will start next year.
What excites you most about downtown Logansport in its current state?
Right now Arts and Music, New Business, Bonus Pints, The People’s Winery. It seems that over the last five years we’ve had companies that give people something to do. Just a few weeks ago we had two high school reunions and there was something going on at Amelio and Black Dog and the Winery.
People who may not live here will see what we have and may come back from time to time. They can say “hey let’s go downtown”. They park and easily walk to different places and visit the different businesses.
What areas of downtown Logansport need to be developed and how can Logan’s Landing contribute to these improvements?
I know the city has plans for an urban park. We hope it will happen and when it is finished, I hope it will attract people.
There are plans for more downtown housing. It will be good for business owners.
Logan’s Landing is the voice of downtown. But we can’t be the only ones promoting it. The community must contribute to it.
Not everyone is happy with potential new developments like the park. How does a community balance growth in a way that attracts new people but also doesn’t drive out long-time citizens?
Hopefully, when people see the work being done downtown, it will change their perception.
I know that we will have other meetings to provide information whether it is about revitalization or for people who are interested in starting a business here. On October 11, the Logan’s Landing Economic Vitality Committee will partner with Logansport Re-Imagine for a workshop at the State Theater. We’ll talk about past, current and future projects happening downtown. There will be panelists who can talk about starting or expanding and renovating a business in the downtown area. And we’ll talk about funding opportunities. It is scheduled from 5:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Why is a healthy downtown important to its community?
When I was a kid, downtown was where it all happened. Now everything is kind of pushed outward, especially in Logansport, everything has shifted to the East. Having a healthy downtown will hopefully keep people coming back. They will see that things are happening downtown. Every night it seems like something is happening. Hopefully this inspires businesses to want to come to downtown Logansport.
One community that inspired me is Wabash. They have the Honeywell Center. This is a Main Street program. They have done a lot downtown. And I think Logansport is really starting to make that change as well. We are going in the right direction.
In recent years, there has been more and more activity downtown, and I see more and more people coming downtown, whether it’s to attend an event at the State Theater or to eat out. Hopefully soon you will see more people walking around, visiting the various businesses and spending more time downtown.