COLUMBUS, Ohio — JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development corporation, today announced four Ohio cities will receive assistance through the Vibrant Community Grant Program to revitalize downtowns and main streets through targeted investments across Ohio. JobsOhio’s first round of funding of just over $4 million will serve to fuel investment through economic development projects in the cities of Van Wert, Sandusky, Coshocton and Painesville.
“Across our state, many cities require investment to further advance key economic development projects that can serve as a catalyst in their post-pandemic recovery. Through this first round, the cities of Van Wert, Sandusky, Coshocton and Painesville will realize this goal, serving as an example of how public-private partnerships can spur job creation and revitalization of our beloved downtowns,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “The JobsOhio Vibrant Community Grant program is designed to identify and target funding to important, transformative projects – in traditionally distressed areas – that will continue the upward trajectory of Ohio’s economic future.”
Through the selection of these four projects, JobsOhio will allocate competitive grants of up to $2 million per project that will effectively close the gap on development projects that total over $46 million. These projects, which will create and retain over 100 jobs across Ohio, include:
Van Wert Forward in City of Van Wert:
- Project Description: Multi-phase project to redevelop approximately 48 buildings, estimating total investment of $75 million. This first phase includes the redevelopment of 12 buildings, approximately 63,000 SF of mixed-use space in the historic district of downtown Van Wert.
The Coshocton Collaborative in City of Coshocton:
- Project Description: Renovation of a three-story, 13,800 SF vacant downtown building to serve as incubator space, co-working space and maker-space.
- The Coshocton County Port Authority will be centrally located at the facility and plans to work directly with private-sector businesses looking to utilize the space. Other partners providing services and programming include the Small Business Development Center at Kent State Tuscarawas and Our Town Coshocton.
Victoria Place in City of Painesville:
- Project Description: Renovation of 191,000 SF mixed-use building in downtown Painesville, including office and residential uses with 52,000 SF of office space being renovated to serve as a catalyst for job creation.
- Burgess & Niple, a nationally recognized engineering and architecture firm, will serve as anchor office tenant.
- Project aligns with the City of Painesville’s Strategic Plan.
Hogrefe-Cooke Building in City of Sandusky
- Project Description: Construction of new 30,000 SF mixed-use building in downtown Sandusky, including retail, office and residential uses
- To date, $3 million has been privately invested by the owners in site acquisition, remediation, and demolition.
- Reminger Attorneys at Law is the anchor office tenant.
- Project aligns with the City of Sandusky’s recently adopted Downtown Master Plan and will include a significant public investment.
In the first round of funding, approximately 40 applications were received from eligible applicants that include businesses, non-profits, developers, port authorities or local governments. Previously, JobsOhio provided a $1.5 million Vibrant Community Grant to the City of Oxford to help fund a $10.4 million development project with Miami University known as the College@Elm Innovation & Workforce Development Center. With Miami University and The Fischer Group serving as anchor tenants, the project aims to transform a three-block undeveloped area in the epicenter of Oxford’s business corridors into a high-tech innovation corridor.
As part of the program, JobsOhio has identified the 98 communities with populations between 5,000 and 75,000 and poverty rates that are at or above the state’s average poverty rate of 14.6% as eligible to submit proposals for JobsOhio consideration. This program recognizes that distressed communities often do not have adequate resources to develop and implement economic development projects that can attract private investment and create new jobs in the community. The Vibrant Community Grant Program was established to assist distressed communities implement catalytic development projects that fulfill a market need and represent a significant reinvestment in areas that have struggled to attract new investment.
For more information, please visit the Vibrant Community Program website.