The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2024

MSVW provides annual report highlights

Main Street Van Wert information

One of the highlights of Monday’s Van Wert City Council meeting was an update by Main Street Van Wert Program Manager Adam Ries on development in the downtown area.

Paintings and other artworks are on display during the 2011 edition of ArtRageous on Main. (VW independent file photo)
Paintings and other artworks are on display during the 2011 edition of ArtRageous on Main. (VW independent file photo)

Ries noted that, in 2013, nine new businesses opened or moved into downtown Van Wert, adding to a healthy and growing mix of downtown businesses. These new businesses, along with existing business growth, resulted in 21 new jobs created.

In addition, building renovations and improvements large and small resulted in more than $1.3 million reinvested into downtown. This reinvestment is the result of property owners tackling the improvements and continued maintenance to make sure their buildings are serving today’s business needs. At the same time, they are preserving the buildings that are essential to the unique character and charm of downtown Van Wert.

New retail businesses in downtown last year included The Embroidery Coop (embroidered apparel and gifts, as well as custom screen printing services); Smith & Sons Firearms (specializing in modern tactical firearms and carry pistols); Once I Was (an artisan style boutique with a wide selection of gifts, home décor, jewelry and women’s clothing); RedNeck Pickers Variety Store (which boasts a large selection of lightly used furniture, clothing, and electronics); and MOD Boutique, offering on-trend women’s clothing and fashion accessories.

Not a bakery, but a cakery, new business Cakecrazy offers a daily selection of unique flavored cupcakes and provides custom-ordered special occasion cakes.

Other businesses to move downtown include R&R Employment, a Decatur, Ind.-based training and employment services company; 540 Martial Arts, which moved its studio to the downtown area, with classes for youth and adult karate and tae kwon do; and Wassenberg Art Center, which moved into the former Van Wert Armory building. The nonprofit community art center presents an average of eight admission-free exhibits annually, as well as classes, workshops and activities for adults and children.

Milestones for the MSVW organization in 2013 include a successful June ArtRageous event, as well as an expanded weekly Market on Main through the summer months. Many new retail promotions were organized and are planned again for 2014.

The organization’s program manager’s position was returned to full-time status, thanks in large part to the many new financial supporting partners that have allowed the organization to grow. In turn, MSVW strives to offer more to serve businesses downtown and fulfill state requirements as one of only 22 Ohio Main Street designated communities.

“Main Street Van Wert Inc. is committed to serving the community by stimulating economic growth while preserving the historic buildings and promoting downtown Van Wert as a great place to shop, visit, work, and live,” Ries said.

Copies of the full MSVW report can be picked up at 136 E. Main St., or viewed online at

POSTED: 01/30/14 at 6:29 am. FILED UNDER: News