In case you thought Dave Chappelle was the only big-time comedian finding a lifestyle in rural Ohio, then you haven’t been keeping up with what Drew Hastings has been up to in Hillsboro. Hastings not only moved to the rural town of 6,600 outside of Cincinnati several years ago, but also began investing in the city personally and professionally, renovating real estate, writing a newspaper column, and this week, winning the election to become the town’s next mayor, as a Republican.
Here is a local TV report from WKRC-TV in Cincinnati. Roll it.
Hastings, 57, was born in Casablanca (yes, Morocco), but grew up in Ohio and has lived in the state for all but a few years when he tried living in Hollywood.
And according to his mayoral campaign site, here are a few of the things he has done since relocating to Hillsboro in 2005:
2006 – Raised $5000. For the Colony Theatre by doing a benefit performance.
2007 – Purchased the abandoned Armory building and put it back into marketable condition for a business to locate into.
2007 – Purchased the Bell’s Opera House and did a total renovation of the 1st floor commercial storefronts and began looking into ways to pursue renovation of this important landmark.
2009 – Purchased the former 5/3 bank building on the corner of Main and High Streets. Undertook giving the building a major facelift to highlight Hillsboro’s main intersection and show how “do-able” it is to make uptown a desirable destination.
2010 – Formed the Hillsboro Uptown Renaissance Project, a non-profit corporation to serve as an economic development vehicle for uptown re-development and the total renovation of the Bell’s Opera House.
2010 – Purchased the abandoned former City/firehouse building to eventually develop into a retail/dining complex through investor participation.
Hastings produced a one-hour stand-up special, Drew Hastings: Irked and Miffed, which aired on Comedy Central in 2008.