Downtown Vital in Vincennes' Race For Talent

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Vincennes was founded in 1732. Vincennes was founded in 1732.

A push to keep a fresh face on the downtown of the state's oldest city continues. INVin Inc., the Vincennes arts, business and innovation initiative, owns two downtown icons, the New Moon Theatre and The Pantheon Theatre, which are being repurposed as a brewery and a coworking space. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Executive Director Ellen Harper said the goal is to create destinations for attracting and retaining talent.

The old Moon Theatre building, Harper says, is a key to redevelopment, because it serves as a gateway to the city center. Burkhart Insurance Agency Inc. owner and President Tony Burkhart joined Harper on the show and says The Pantheon Business Theatre will help keep the "best and brightest" in Knox County and create a connection between young workers and employers. Burkhart's own business left downtown Vincennes for the outskirts in the early-1990s, only to return more than a decade later by purchasing and locating to the old Terre Haute Brewing Co. stables when more space was needed.

INVin was launched in 2014 and was driven in large part by Pioneer Oil Co. Inc. relocating its headquarters from a town just across the Illinois state line to the Knox County city in 2013. "All of a sudden when they came to downtown and they decided to repurpose their building, the local folks began to think 'wow, maybe our downtown isn't dead like we thought,' because we do have a lot to offer in downtown Vincennes," said Harper.

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