Downtown Wabash marks 1st anniversary of rebranding
By Amanda Redman
Downtown Wabash, Inc. presented “Hello! My name is Downtown Wabash, Inc.!” at the Honeywell House Feb. 28.
“Tonight we’re going to find out what’s going on downtown,” said Susan Jones, Honeywell House hostess,, as she introduced Andrea Zwiebel, Downtown Wabash Inc., executive director.
The program, in celebration of Downtown Wabash, Inc.’s one-year rebranding anniversary, highlighted accomplishments by the non-profit organization.
“We’ve spent a year now as Downtown Wabash, Inc.,” Zwiebel said. “There’s a new office, a new team and a new name. We love having a storefront presence again. We’re loving our new office space at Wabash Landing,”
The office at 189 S. Wabash Street serves as the hub for First Friday, the Farmers Market and downtown development. Zwiebel works alongside Morgan Ellis, PR & Marketing Manager, and Carly Hawkins, part-time Downtown Coordinator. 
Ellis presented the new website, which is well-designed it won the Non-Profit Standard of Excellence Award in the Web Marketing Association’s 2022 WebAwards Competition, Ellis said.
Downtown Wabash, Inc. was formerly known as Wabash Marketplace, Inc., which celebrated 40 years of existence in 2021.
In 2022, the board decided it was time for a new name due partially to confusion with other organizations who had recently adopted the word “marketplace,” especially the recent rise of Facebook Marketplace.
“No one knew what Wabash Marketplace was,” Ellis said. “We had people trying to sell their rabbits in our building because they thought we were Facebook Marketplace.” 
There was additional confusion with similar organizations such as Grow Wabash County and Visit Wabash County so a name that better represents what the organization does was important, Zwiebel said.
The focus of Downtown Wabash, Inc. is on downtown development and being a “place maker,” Zwiebel said.
“Why is our organization important and why do we need a vibrant downtown?” Zwiebel asked. ““Downtowns are important because they provide a quality of place. People want place and we need people.” 
“Quality of place” is so important to reversing population decline, it is part of Imagine One85, the county-wide comprehensive plan, Indiana’s READI program, and even has been written about nationally in the Wall Street Journal, Zwiebel said.
Since the year 2000, more than $73 million has been invested in downtown Wabash and continued growth is necessary, Zwiebel said. 
Recent developments include new businesses, building restorations and new facades. 
“Our vision as a downtown district is having a vibrant and beautiful downtown,” Zwiebel said. “We want there to be something happening all the time in downtown Wabash.”
For more information about Downtown Wabash Inc.,  see the award-winning website at
Posted on 2023 Mar 07