The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Aug. 15, 2022

VW Forward sets official project kick-off

Independent staff and submitted information

Van Wert Forward announces the official inauguration of the restoration and preservation of core building assets in downtown Van Wert. 

The project is vision driven by The Van Wert County Foundation, along with the collective efforts of many other community partners. Planning efforts began in mid-2019 to preserve and restore downtown Van Wert’s historic assets, infuse energy into the community, spur downtown revitalization and investment, create new, welcoming, multi-use spaces, and positively impact quality of life for generations to come. 

Shown are (from the left) Hall Block, Seth Baker, Mitch Price, Joel Germann, Whitney Bowen, Renee Thatcher, and Laney Nofer. photo provided

Over 50 properties are slated for eventual transformation. The project will develop in multiple phases. Phase I includes 11 parcels and will be completed within 18 months. 

A formal kick-off event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, September 25, in front of the former Oddfellows Lodge, 101 E. Main St., which is also one of the properties scheduled for renovation in Phase I. Attendees will have the opportunity to visit the site for the plan’s launch and also include a signed note in a time capsule to be inserted in a memorial column erected during the project. 

Phase I is expected to be an investment of more than $26 million when completed. Initial funding began with a grant from The National Park Service’s Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant, through Heritage Ohio, for installation of an elevator in the former Oddfellows Building. 

The remaining capital investment is funded through a Vibrant Communities Grant from Jobs Ohio, State and Federal Historic Tax Credits, State and Federal New Market Tax Credits, and local equity investment by The Van Wert County Foundation and other investment partners. 

Project manager Hall Block explains his excitement for the project’s commencement: “The Foundation and Van Wert Forward staff are thrilled to move into this next stage of development. After many months of planning, designing, and then redesigning, the project is prepared to begin tangible progress. None of this would be possible without our local partners working alongside and the community supporting us the whole way.” 

For questions and comments regarding Van Wert Forward, contact Block at 419.238.1743 or  

POSTED: 09/21/21 at 10:18 pm. FILED UNDER: News