Central Insurance invests $17 million in multi-phase development project 

VAN WERT, OHIO, March 11, 2022 – Van Wert Forward is pleased to announce Central Insurance as a financial partner in the restoration and revitalization of downtown Van Wert. Central, alongside The Van Wert County Foundation, has invested significant resources in the multi-phase development project that will create new, welcoming, multi-use spaces and positively impact quality of life for generations to come.

“Central was founded in Van Wert nearly 150 years ago—and this is where we’ll be 150 years from now,” says Central CEO & President Evan Purmort. “This is our home, and we’re committed to making Van Wert better and better for the people who live and work here. Partnering with Van Wert Forward to revitalize our downtown is just another step in building a legacy for the community we love.”

The Van Wert Forward project is led by the Van Wert County Foundation which has acquired over fifty parcels in downtown Van Wert. Eleven of these parcels are prepped for phase one construction of the Van Wert Forward project and include almost 35,000 square feet of leasable commercial space (12 commercial units) and 29,000 square feet of leasable residential space (37 residential units). Financial closing for the approximately $26 million downtown project occurred on March 11. Full construction on the project will begin immediately.

Van Wert Forward was awarded approximately $15 million worth of state and federal historic and new market tax credits through the National Parks Service, Ohio Department of Development, Finance Fund (Columbus, OH), and Brownfield Revitalization, LLC (Raleigh, NC). Central Insurance has invested $12.1 million with respect to the awarded tax credits associated with the project. Additionally, Central has provided approximately $4.9 million of equity capital to Van Wert Forward. The Van Wert County Foundation has provided approximately $5.6 million in equity capital. The project was additionally awarded $156,000 from the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program administered at the federal level by the National Park Service, Department of Interior, and by the Ohio History Connection and Heritage Ohio. Furthermore, the Van Wert County Foundation received a $1.5 million Vibrant Communities Grant from JobsOhio for project use.

The Van Wert Port Authority is also partnering on the project. The Port Authority is providing a capital lease on the parcels, which affords nearly $1 million in savings on the sales tax of Phase One construction materials. 

In addition, the City of Van Wert granted this phase of the Van Wert Forward project a tax exemption for improvements made to the project for 90% of the assessed value for ten years. These savings have an estimated value of $1.5 million.

The Central Mutual Insurance Company was founded in Van Wert, Ohio in 1876 and has since evolved into Central Insurance, a property and casualty insurance carrier providing premium coverage for hundreds of thousands of individuals and businesses across the country. Central is based in Van Wert and operates regional offices in Boston, Atlanta, and Dallas with satellite offices in Columbus and Salt Lake City. Central Insurance has combined assets of more than $2 billion. Central’s A.M. Best rating is A (Excellent).

The Van Wert County Foundation is a philanthropic organization focused on creating a well-resourced and thriving quality of life for Van Wert County, Ohio. 

The lead developer for the project is Pago USA (Fort Wayne, IN) in association with Model Group (Cincinnati, OH). Van Wert Forward is transforming quality of place by planning, developing, and sustaining the built environment in downtown Van Wert. For more information visit Van Wert Forward’s website, or contact the Director of Engagement and Outreach, Joel Germann,