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Mantua trying out for HGTV's 'Home Town Takeover'

Posted at 5:52 PM, Feb 06, 2020

MANTUA, Ohio — Mantua has been slowly clawing its way back from decades of empty store fronts and a less than bustling downtown. But there might just be some hope for this one stoplight town with just about 1,000 residents. HGTV, the famous home improvement network, is launching a new show called "Home Town Takeover" where it will fix up an entire small town and Mantua wants a shot at the prize.

"We have a new coffee shop, we have a new archery and kayaking company and we have a number of meat markets, we have some wonderful restaurants," said Edie Benner, president of the Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corporation.

But a fire that hit more than 30 years ago still holds them back, there's literally a hole in the heart of their downtown. "It's really expensive to do a small town revitalization effort," Benner said.

"There are some empty buildings that it would be fantastic to to help to revitalize and jump start those buildings," said Benner. "If we can improve the lighting, improve the streets cape safety, the historic lights would be nice."

In order to get this small town noticed more than all the entries that are pouring in across the country, local students from Crestwood High School got involved and shot the entire video.

"We went all around town, to all to our local businesses, to our administrators and just people, citizens of the town. We interviewed them, we asked them basically 'hey, what do you like about Mantua and why do you feel Mantua deserves to be revitalized?'" said 12th grade student Braydon Svab.

The students used all the skills they've learned in their TV production class to hopefully put their town on the map and they're not doing it for the grades.

"I grew up here, I learned how to ride my bike here—I walked all the sidewalks," said 12th grade student Dylan Barton. "Seeing this place get a little bit more attention would just make me a lot more happy."

Jodi Scheer, the director of programming for HGTV, tells News 5 the scope of the renovations for the town selected will be vast.

"We plan to renovate multiple individual family homes along with public spaces, such as parks, local businesses and recreation centers," said Scheer in an email.

The Crestwood High School students sent the video for consideration Thursday. They are crossing their fingers for good news.

"I just want to have Mantua be like the place where everybody comes and stops in and has a good time," said Svab.