The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Aug. 19, 2019

Hidden Spaces features unique apartments

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Main Street Van Wert’s Hidden Spaces tour on Friday displayed five locations, including First Presbyterian Church, the former Century Bar on East Central Avenue, the Van Wert County Courthouse, and a building owned by local attorney Dillon Staas IV at 101 E. Main St. 

Shown is the living room and kitchen/dining room of a luxury loft apartment created by Stick Rammel and Kim Adams in a downtown building at 109 S. Washington St. photos by Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

However, also on the tour was a unique property owned by Sticky Rammel and Kim Adams that features commercial space on the first floor and two luxury loft apartments on the second floor.

Rammel said he and Adams had been looking for an investment opportunity and felt that the downtown area was a good place to find one.

“I strongly, strongly feel that downtown and Main Street is so important to the viability of a community, the city, the county, (and) economic development,” Rammel stated.

What they purchased, though, was a property in need of some TLC, as well as significant exterior and interior rehabbing. Rammel said the building, which was vacant at the time and owned by an out-of-state resident, was pretty much “falling off the back” of the Rhoades Insurance building just north of it.

That meant significant work was needed on the exterior.

“We basically have done just about everything (to the building),” Rammel noted, adding that the exterior brick was tuck-pointed, while structural engineers also solidified beams holding the building together.

Inside, the space was pretty much gutted and rehabbed.

Rammel said the project has been a learning experience — maybe even at times a painful one — but noted he is proud of the finished result.

“I learned about dealing with the state and learned what contractors do certain things well,” he said, while adding that his inexperience with the process was at least one reason the project took more than two years to complete.

Shown is the bathroom of an unfinished loft apartment at 109 S. Washington St.

Rammel said he was very appreciative of the help he received from Jim Rhoades, owner of the building north of his, noting that workmen sometimes had to come through the Rhoades building to work on his.

“I can’t say enough about Jim and how he was through this process,” Rammel said. “He was a really good neighbor.”

The first floor now features a 1,054-square-foot commercial space that is ready to be finished off by someone seeking a downtown business location. Rammel said with business people today mostly wanting to add their own distinctive look to a property, he and Adams felt it was better to leave the business space unfinished and let a tenant add their own paint and flooring in the space.

Shown is the living room of an unfinished, long-term lease apartment at 109 S. Washington St.

Upstairs are two luxury loft apartments, one unfurnished apartment available for long-term lease that Rammel said was just leased and a second, furnished apartment available for short-term leasing: from three days to six months, or possibly longer.

The one-bedroom apartments include WIFI, washer-dryer combos, heated bathroom floors, and modern kitchens. They also feature great views of the downtown area, including the Courthouse, while being in walking distance to other downtown businesses and restaurants, as well as Wassenberg Art Center.

An added bonus is a mural painted on the side of the building by Fort Wayne, Indiana, artist Rico Diamante this summer. The project was paid for through art grants.

Rammel said the short-term lease apartment would be perfect for someone coming into town for a concert at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, or for relatives in town for a family event that need a place to stay. The apartment would also be great for companies that bring people to their Van Wert area locations, Rammel said.

“If you want a different experience from a hotel this is it,” he noted.

Those interested in leasing the apartment can call or text Rammel’s cell phone at 614.374.2744 any time.

POSTED: 08/10/19 at 8:31 am. FILED UNDER: News