Black Diamond Development aiming to make Shawnee a destination – Zanesville Times Recorder

SHAWNEE — History and nature draw people to Shawnee.
Those elements made the village an attractive place to invest for Black Diamond Development LLC.
The state will assist the organization’s project, as Black Diamond was awarded a $250,000 tax credit as part of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program.
The Shawnee project located at two properties, 106 and 126 W. Main St., and will cost more than $2.6 million. The commercial buildings are located on both sides of the Tecumseh Theater within the village’s historic district.
The structure at 106 W. Main St., which dates to the 1890s, was historically a mixed-use commercial building. It currently houses the Black Diamond Tavern and will have two apartments upstairs. 
The other building, 126 W. Main St., currently has one vacation rental unit that is available on Plans call for two more units to be finished on the upper level, while the first floor will be renovated for commercial use.
These buildings are the first of several to be redeveloped in support of Shawnee’s growth as a tourism destination.
Breanna Kitchen, operations manager, noted one of the investors visited the village a few years ago and saw potential. This tax credit will assist the company in completing the project.
Black Diamond is comprised of a group of Southern Ohio developers who possess a dedication to preserving the history of a very important, underserved region of Ohio, according to its Facebook page.
“We want to be a part of the village’s revitalization,” Kitchen said. “Our investors have a vision of making this a destination for its history, as well as outdoor recreation. This grant will help us achieve that goal.”
The Black Diamond Tavern opened in November 2020, and the first rental unit opened in April 2021, said Kitchen. She noted the room has been rented out several times, including by visitors from California and Boston.
The rental features a living room, kitchen, dining room, bathroom and bedroom, and includes some of the original woodwork. Work is being done on the other two rentals with hopes of finishing the jobs by the end of the year, noted Kitchen.
“There’s a lot of history with both buildings,” Kitchen said. “Our current tavern was not only a tavern before, but also housed a brothel and a bank. The other building is called the Harigle Garage, which was an old autobody shop, and we want to restore that façade. One part doesn’t have the back wall, but we want to turn that space into an outdoor beer garden.”
Black Diamond also has plans for a campground just outside the village. Kitchen said they are partnering with Hocking College to build 30 to 40 tiny homes on that property, along with campsites. They also work with the college on providing IPAs and ales for the tavern.
Shawnee is located near Perry State Forest and Wayne National Forest. Perry features more than 4,700 acres with 24 miles of hiking trails and 16 miles of APV trails, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Wayne National is located within 12 counties and has more than 300 miles of trails for hiking, ATV and horse riding, according to the National Forest Foundation.
“There are mixed attitudes from people in the village, but most are very supportive of what we’re doing,” Kitchen said. “There’s a lot of people who come here for hiking and the outdoors. We want to offer a great place to stay for visitors, while having a place to eat and hang out for the community.
“We’re very excited about our progress, and we look forward to making Shawnee a destination for people to visit and enjoy.”
The state aid is through the Ohio Department of Development and totals nearly $40 million in helping the rehabilitation of 38 historic buildings in 19 communities and 16 counties.
Developers are not issued the tax credit until project construction is complete and all program requirements are verified.
“Preserving historic buildings is one tool we can use to build vibrant downtowns and create opportunity on our main streets throughout the state,” Gov. DeWine said in the press release. “These projects are just one piece of the larger picture to transform our communities and create even more exceptional places to live and visit.”
The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program is administered in partnership with the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. The State Historic Preservation Office determines if a property qualifies as a historic building and that the rehabilitation plans comply with the United States Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
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Twitter: @brandonhannahs


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