Ohio Inclusion: Revitalizing Downtowns & Main Streets
Ohio’s largest cities are attracting people and investments at a tremendous rate, fueling economic growth. While this upswing is welcome news, JobsOhio recognizes that some small and mid-sized cities are struggling to compete and need resources to better position them for private investment. Small communities are part of the social fabric of Ohio and vital to the state’s future economic success. The Vibrant Community Grant Program is a critical instrument in funding important projects in traditionally distressed areas.
Vibrant Community Grants support the revitalization of Ohio downtowns and main streets. The grants further advance key economic development projects that can serve as a catalyst in a town’s post-pandemic recovery. In 2021, five Ohio cities received assistance: Coshocton, Oxford, Painesville, Sandusky, and Van Wert. The first round of funding totaled $5.5 million.
Project: The Coshocton Collaborative
Regional Partner: OhioSE
The Coshocton Collaborative is a downtown revitalization project designed to promote entrepreneurship and foster economic growth in the region. The three-story, 13,800-square-foot building is being converted into a unique maker area, business incubator, and co-working facility. Several private sector businesses have expressed interest in utilizing the space.
Project: College@Elm Innovation & Workforce Development Center
Regional Partner: REDI Cincinnati
Miami University and the City of Oxford are partnering on a new Entrepreneurship Training and Incubation Center that will help bolster a distressed rural economy. The 39,000-square-foot facility will house offices, an entrepreneurship center, several startups, and space for manufacturing operations. The project will create more than 50 jobs for the area.
Project: Victoria Place
Regional Partner: Team NEO
JobsOhio provided a Vibrant Community Grant to support the Victoria Place renovation project in downtown Painesville. The 191,000 square foot building located downtown is being transformed for future corporate office and retail development. Burgess & Niple, a nationally known engineering and architecture firm, will be the anchor tenant once completed.
Project: Hogrefe-Cooke Building
Regional Partner: Team NEO
JobsOhio provided funding to the developers of the Hogrefe-Cooke Building, closing the gap on a project that represents significant reinvestment in the area. Reminger Attorneys at Law will be the office anchor tenant, with additional storefronts and residential units occupying other floors. The construction in downtown Sandusky aligns with the city’s Master Plan, which has broad community support.
Project: Van Wert Forward
Regional Partner: Regional Growth Partnership
Community leaders have laid out a multi phase plan for revitalization of the historic district in downtown Van Wert. With the assistance of JobsOhio, the first phase includes the restoration of 12 buildings, including approximately 63,000 square feet of mixed-use space. In total, the city has identified 48 buildings for redevelopment, a $75 million investment.