Historic Investment Announced in the Village of Shawnee

A downtown revitalization project in the village of Shawnee designed to foster small business and economic development growth was announced today. Black Diamond Development LLC, in collaboration with JobsOhio and Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), announced the historic investment of over $1.3 million to fully renovate and develop two historic downtown buildings.

Black Diamond Development purchased the two adjacent at-risk historic buildings at 116 and 118 W. Main Street in downtown Shawnee in 2020 and has since stabilized both buildings, known as the Dishon Buildings, and prepared them for renovation. Local historian Rob Dishon, owner of the buildings, tragically passed in early 2020. Black Diamond Development chose to honor his contributions to saving the buildings by naming the structures for him.

“The restoration of the historic Dishon Buildings is an example of the importance of preserving Ohio’s proud heritage,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “These buildings tell a story of Shawnee’s past and will be restored to support future economic development and tourism for the village and region.”

Through this investment, the buildings will be brought back to productive life as commercial co-working spaces to house the Genesis Healthcare System office and primary care clinic, Naz Winery, the Black Diamond Regional Visitors Bureau, and flexible co-working spaces available on daily, weekly, and monthly basis. The upper levels of both buildings will house vacation rental units.

“Developing these properties to house flexible co-working space is key to encouraging business and job growth in the area and in supporting the overarching goal of improving the quality of life for the residents of Shawnee,” said Jazzma Quinn, spokesperson for Black Diamond Development.

Black Diamond Development has completed previous redevelopment projects in the Village of Shawnee, including the Shawnee Tavern, now the Black Diamond Tavern. The company is also developing a Tiny Home Village scheduled to be completed by April 2024.

Quinn stated that without the public-private partnership enabled by Jobs Ohio and OhioSE, these buildings would be lost forever as traditional market economics do not work to allow re-development.

JobsOhio is supporting the project with a $400,000 Vibrant Community Grant.

“The investment in the Village of Shawnee’s downtown is already achieving the vision set forth as part of the JobsOhio Vibrant Community Program, which is to attract private investment and create new opportunities for Ohio’s smaller and culturally rich communities,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “The restoration of the Dishon buildings is sparking the downtown economy, bringing jobs, healthcare, coworking space, and tourism to this beautiful pocket of Ohio just outside of Wayne National Forrest.”

The JobsOhio Vibrant Community Program offers competitive grants for development projects that help transform areas within a distressed community. Eligible projects include mixed-use projects, real estate development projects, and operated share spaces that meet the JobsOhio project criteria.

“OhioSE is pleased to be a part of supporting this exciting project with a JobsOhio Vibrant Communities grant,” said Katy Farber, Vice President of OhioSE. “The redevelopment that is happening in Shawnee is a testament to what good things can happen when committed partners work together in a community.”

Quinn said Black Diamond Development is committed to creating a lasting impact in the community and revitalizing properties that would have otherwise collapsed in disrepair.

“The cost of renovating these properties exceeds the market return and can only be accomplished with additional incentives such as tax credits and programs like the JobsOhio Vibrant Community Program.”

View the original release

Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) is the JobsOhio Network Partner for southern, eastern, and southeastern Ohio, providing economic development work and resources in 25 rural counties; they are the newest and geographically the largest of the six regions across the state. OhioSE partners closely with regional development districts, local economic development offices, state agencies, and other entities to expand, retain, and attract businesses in the counties they serve.