“The Urbana community is shaping its vision for the future by coming together to spur downtown revitalization and attract more job opportunities,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “The plans to renovate the historic furniture building will attract more businesses to Urbana and enhance overall economic development opportunities for the community.”
"We're proud to support a project that will not only revitalize a piece of Urbana's past, but also contribute to its future growth and prosperity," said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. "By breathing new life into some of our state's most historic spaces, we're building better futures for our downtowns and creating new opportunities for businesses and residents to thrive."
Located at 219 N. Main Street, the newly renovated building will be a combination of Willman Lofts and WillWork Co-Workspace. The first floor will be WillWork, a hybrid coworking business that provides “one-stop-shop” services via community and expert members as well as staff support for start-up companies and existing businesses. The upper two floors will be converted into loft living space with nine residential units total.
“When we identified the layout and useability of this beautiful historic structure to be nearly irrelevant in today’s retail and commercial standards, we knew we had to redefine its layout and use,” said local developer Jamon Sellman. “We are attempting to redefine our Historic Downtown, one building at a time, with newly reimagined spaces that are cutting edge, usable, and efficient.”
“The building’s history, location, and architectural significance represent a blend of unique qualities that lend to its substantial potential for success as the WillWork space,” said the Owner of WillWork Sarah Mackert. “These qualities include location within Monument Square, architectural significance and unsurpassed scale within that urban core, and community interest in remembering a multi-generational local business that represented Urbana for nearly threequarters of a century.”
Supporters hope the project will serve as an anchor to catalyze additional investment in downtown Urbana. This project was made possible by the collaborative efforts of Sellman Enterprises LLC, WillWork, JobsOhio, the Dayton Development Coalition, the City of Urbana, the Champaign Economic Partnership, and the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.
“The City of Urbana has taken the right steps to prepare for future growth through prior community planning efforts that identified the need to develop new housing market opportunities and to explore and support policies that repurpose, redevelop, and reoccupy existing development,” said City of Urbana Mayor Bill Bean. “This investment by Sellman Enterprises, LLC and JobsOhio will help Urbana’s downtown become a destination for young professionals and families to live and grow in.”
JobsOhio’s Vibrant Community program supported the revitalization project with a $800,000 grant. The JobsOhio Vibrant Community Program was established to assist small and mediumsized communities with the implementation of catalytic development projects that fulfill a market need and represent a significant reinvestment in Ohio communities. Eligible projects include mix-use projects, real estate development projects, and shared spaces that meet the JobsOhio project criteria.
“The renovation of the Willman Furniture building into apartments and coworking space adds a new dimension to the vibrant and lively downtown the Urbana community is creating,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “Along with our JobsOhio Network partners at the Dayton Development Coalition, we see the collaboration efforts of many community partners to invest in and rehabilitate the historic building as a catalyst to strengthen placemaking efforts in Urbana.”
In 2018, community leaders and stakeholders began efforts to revitalize the downtown district of Urbana. As part of the strategic plan to bring more housing and entertainment to the downtown district, the need for living and convenient, professional office space was found to be lacking.
“This project represents a unique opportunity to spark continued investment in Urbana’s downtown district,” said Champaign Economic Partnership Economic Development Director Richard Ebert. “We look forward to the significant impact this project will make on the community in many years to come.”
Submitted by Erin Staley - Dayton Development Coalition
Community Health & Wellness Partners is a member of the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers (OACHC), along with 58 other Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) – totaling nearly 500 locations in Ohio. After years of organizational growth, both in geographic areas served and over 100 employees hired, Bair now represents all FQHCs as the Chairperson of the OACHC Board of Directors.
Bair is a 2023 Health Care Hero in the Manager category.
The Federally Qualified Health Center operates in Bellefontaine, Indian Lake, Urbana and West Liberty. The group provides primary care, integrated behavioral health care, wellness care, chronic care management, medication assisted treatment for substance abuse, pharmacy, nutrition and other services.
"Tara is constantly working to reach more underserved patients through expansion and better serve current patients through thoughtful innovation," says Kelly Borth, chief strategy officer at GREENCREST.
Originally focused on Logan and surrounding counties, CHWP in 2022 expanded to a community health care center in Urbana, Champaign County.
“It was clear that Urbana needed a community health center not only for recovery patients, but to also eliminate barriers to primary care and other health services for all community residents," Bair said.
CHWP improved patient engagement through a two-way text communication system. CHWP is the only Ohio provider with a two-way interactive messaging system where a patient can ask questions and schedule exams.
“Tara is an innovative leader willing to adapt to best serve her community,” Borth said in her nomination of Bair. “She goes above and beyond to reach those who are not getting the health care they need due to financial restraints or geographic accessibility. She meets them where they are.”
Bair also serves as the incoming chair of the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers and chair of its Ohio Primary Care Workforce committee.
Melanie Ziegler, Memorial Health Vice President of Community Engagement, notified nine non-profits about the donations, including Care Train of Union County, Community Christmas in Urbana, the Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Hope Center, Milford Center Food Pantry, North Union Personal Needs Pantry, Oasis of Mercy Food Pantry of Mechanicsburg, Plain City Daily Needs Assistance, and The Caring Kitchen of Urbana.
“We applaud the unwavering efforts of these organizations every year, but even more so during the last few years,” comments Ziegler. “Memorial is proud to stand alongside these groups in the communities we serve and it brings great joy to support them as they continue to provide much-needed assistance for our area residents.”
In 2001, the Urbana plant also went through an expansion. Today, Parker Trutec still stands as leader in the coating industry. Check them out at https://www.parkertrutec.com/.
Today they are a single source vendor for machining, tooling and making custom equipment. They specialize in difficult or hard to find parts. We congratulate Rosewood Machine and Tool and look forward to many more years of success.
Interested in the history of the Q3 building?
What started out as a railroad operating supplies manufacturer, the building at 605 Miami St has had a few owners. Johnson Manufacturing Company was the first owner. Eventually they sold the business to Q3 becoming Q3 JMC Inc. That company vacated in 2008 leaving the building empty until the city took ownership in 2017 and finally TIS purchased the property in 2020.
Back in 2017, the City of Urbana took ownership of the property and the hard work of clean-up began. There was already a developer expressing interest in the project. TIS is an engineering and construction management firm, specializing in roadway and bridge construction. In 2020 they bought the property and began the redevelopment of the building. They, along with the CEP and the City, worked hard to make this project a reality. This Wednesday, the building will officially go from vacancy to full occupancy and we could not be prouder. Congratulations to TIS and team. Thank you for your commitment to our community.