LORAIN, Ohio — Rosa Detillio has lived in Lorain for almost her entire life.
"I came from Puerto Rico, I was a year and a half and I’m in my 70’s,” Detillo said.
Detillio has seen the city of Lorain through the good and bad.
"A lot of stores, a lot of restaurants and then it started dying,” she said.
Now she’s hoping the good is here to stay.
"I believe this is the beginning of what’s going to be,” said Detillio. "This is bringing Lorain back to life.”
Detillio is talking about The Shipyards, it’s a brand new 25,000 square foot mixed-use facility. It boasts a restaurant, bar, conference center, office space, event area and pretty soon, a coffee shop.
"It’s been a lifelong dream of ours to see Lorain come back,” said Joe Lucas.
Lucas is one of The Shipyards owners.
He says it's important to honor Lorain’s history, which is why he named it The Shipyards.
It's a nod to the old shipyards in Lorain and where more than 800 boats were built.
"Over the years, a lot of industry left for different reasons, so me and my partner Tony just wanted to help bring back Lorain and put it on the map,” said Lucas.
The Shipyards and the marina, paired with downtown Lorain, is the formula Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley says is cementing the city to become an entertainment hub.
"We had Ford Motor Company, we had the shipyards, we had U.S. Steel, and all those things have all gone away or reduced in capacity significantly and so we’re really having to turn to our natural resource, our lake and our river, and turn this into an entertainment district,” said Mayor Bradley.
Bradley says that’s happening quicker than most people realize.
"I know a local investor just bought some property across the street from that particular property where The Shipyards is built and they plan on opening up a restaurant,” he said.
Detillio says she can’t wait to see what’s next for her home.
"My dad came for a better life, and this is our life and it’s nice to see that it's still going strong,” said Detillio.