Van Wert County has experienced tremendous positive momentum. Through everything, the resilience and spirit of our community remains strong. Our quality of life is transforming to meet the desires of our residents—and in doing so, helping us attract talent and tourism.

As we look to the future, we see bright days ahead—with opportunity for all. To get there, we’re investing with courage and confidence—restoring and developing our downtown’s core assets and revitalizing the heart of our community.

We are Van Wert Forward. And together, we are building vibrancy.

MISSION

Our mission is to preserve and restore our historic assets. In doing so, we will infuse energy into our community; spur downtown revitalization and investment; create new, welcoming, multi-use spaces; and positively impact quality of life for generations to come.

PARTNERS

VWCF is committed to a bright future for our community, and we collaborate enthusiastically to make this vision a reality. Together, we bring experience and a commitment to downtown revitalization.

The Van Wert County Foundation
Van Wert Area Economic Development Corporation
Main Street Van Wert
Pago, USA

VISION

Van Wert is a multi-phase development project led by The Van Wert County Foundation (VWCF), with a goal of preserving and enhancing our core downtown assets. With a vibrant, revitalized downtown, we can improve the quality of life for our residents, attract and retain talent, and encourage tourism.

A Return on Community Investment

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Van Wert Forward?

 Van Wert Forward is a for-profit organization created by The Van Wert County Foundation and local investors to preserve and restore our historic assets. In doing so, we will infuse energy into our community; spur downtown revitalization and investment; create new, welcoming, multi-use spaces; and positively impact quality of life for generations to come.

Where does the money for these projects come from?

The money for these projects comes from several sources – VWCF and local investor capital, Federal and State historic tax credits, Federal and State new market tax credits, and grants

Who all is involved in this Van Wert Forward?

Van Wert Forward has many organizations and consultants – both local and outside of the Van Wert area – who have been involved in the development of the project. The Van Wert County Foundation is a parent organization of Van Wert Forward providing financial resources and staffing to support the project

How many properties are in the plan/ how many buildings does the Foundation own?

The Van Wert County Foundation owns 50 properties within the downtown area. Each property will be placed into a redevelopment phase for renovation within the next 1 – 5 years.

What will parking look like/ what is the parking plan?

Our team is working with a parking consultant – Jones, Petrie, Rafiniski – to help examine the current parking conditions downtown, and identify needs and solutions based on that research. The recommendations are being worked out with the Van Wert Forward team, and shared with our stakeholders such as the Main Street Van Wert board, City Council, and other groups as necessary.

Who is moving into these buildings?

Phase 1 renovated commercial spaces will be occupied by both existing and new businesses. Many spaces will be leased to VW Fwd existing tenants as they are relocated to make way for renovations in their spaces. Phase 1 residential spaces will be occupied by a broad range of the local and regional population: college-age and early career professionals, families, and empty-nesters. Unit rental prices will vary dramatically from studio spaces to luxury lofts, inviting the entire spectrum of Van Wert residents to live downtown.

Who can rent the apartments?

Anyone can rent the apartments – we are an equal housing opportunity organization.

How do I rent a commercial space?

For rental information contact Hall Block at 419-238-1743

What is the timeline of the project?

The project is broken up into phases. Each phase is expected to take 12-18 months, and there will likely be 4-5 phases.

How will the downtown redevelopment affect local businesses?

The Van Wert Forward team will work with each business and building owner to ensure proper access to all locations as well as continuing to host the downtown lowdown discussion sessions to share project information.

What is the process if I want to locate or start my business in a downtown space?

Contact Hall Block at 419-238-1743

I have a concern – who can I talk to?

Contact Hall Block at 419-238-1743

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