The Restoration of Van Wert, Ohio

How Local Leaders Flipped the Script on Downtown Decline
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Learn How Six Simple Principles Can Help Transform Any Community!

Early Responses

A great account of a bold attempt to reinvent a downtown by a small town that refuses to accept decline as inevitable.

– Aaron Renn, Independent Journalist and Consultant

The Restoration of Van Wert, Ohio: How Local Leaders Flipped the Script on Downtown Decline is a must read! Engaging, exciting, and energizing, the book tells, step-by-step, how one city is renewing its downtown. The authors know what they are talking about. Eric Doden worked miracles in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as Chris Mead described in Turning Rust to Gold: Fort Wayne’s Fight for Revival. After reading that book I was inspired to help fight for a downtown baseball stadium and multi-use event facility in Hagerstown, Maryland. We recently received $69.5 million to build the facility! Now we are taking a fresh look at the rest of our downtown…

– Paul Frey, President and CEO, Washington County Chamber of Commerce

The restoration of Van Wert, Ohio is a great model for other small and rural communities across the nation. Each town or city has a unique history that is important in setting the stage for leaders during difficult times. It cant be overemphasized how the far-seeing leaders of Van Wert, through the establishment of the Van Wert County Foundation, made possible todays giant leap to create a thriving community.

– Scott Niswonger, Air/Land Transport Pioneer and Philanthropist

A lively and inspiring narrative of the challenging work to rebuild downtown Van Wert, Ohio. This is a must read for any civic leader or elected official who believes their city challenges are impossibly unique. This is a story of how a determined number of citizens revived a city, breathing in new life and optimism for the 21st century.

– Michael J. Hicks, Ph. D. , George & Frances Ball Distinguished Professor, Miller School of Business, Ball State University

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Why Work With Us?

Restoring Hope

We can help you restore the core buildings in your village (usually downtowns) to Class A standards in a 24-36 month timeframe.

For example, a community of 20,000 residents could have 55 core buildings that make up its historic downtown. With an average building size of 10,000 square feet, that translates to a total of 550,000 square feet. Our goal would be to restore the 550,000 square foot with a market-based mixed use of commercial, retail, residential (e.g. apartments, condos, assisted living), boutique hotel rooms, not-for-profit, and entertainment venues. Each community is unique and, in partnership with the community, we will tailor the ultimate mix of uses to that community.

How We Work Together

The Process

We identify potential community partners based on our own assessment, and proactively reach out to them. In addition, we have an application process so that communities can contact us directly to learn more. Generally, the steps in our engagement will look something like the following:

Submit application (30 days)
Establish memorandum of understanding (MOU) specifying expectations for Pago USA and the community (14 days)
Site Control (3-6 months)
Design/Engineering (12 months)
Construction & Program Implementation (18-24 months)

Let’s Work Together

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