INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – A new development company launched this week that seeks to aid small-town America in tapping its full potential by helping to restore its vibrancy. The village of every city—often downtown—serves as its heart. Each has a unique history that can be leveraged to improve community pride, enhance opportunities and restore hope to its citizens. Pago USA will focus on serving communities ranging from 8,000 to 20,000 in population.
“Many of us at Pago USA grew up in small-town America in places such as Butler, Auburn, and Marion, Indiana. We have a passion to restore vibrancy to our American villages, giving those individuals who choose to live in smaller communities similar opportunities to those who choose to live in big cities,” said Eric Doden, president and co-founder of Pago USA. “We believe that each community in America should have a chance to be excellent and vibrant within the context of its historic assets. Community pride correlates with vibrancy and has a direct impact on the economic and social future and well-being of American cities.”
Small and medium towns are competing for talent and capital on an increasingly uneven playing field as investment gravitates toward rapidly growing areas of the United States. Many villages have less than 25% of their historic assets revitalized to class A standards. The remaining 75% are often declining or in serious disrepair. The goal at Pago USA is to restore all historic assets defined by partner communities within three years.
Small-town America has experienced staggering declines in population and job creation in recent years. This has motivated many communities to initiate strategic planning efforts that too often result in nothing more than booklets collecting dust on a shelf. Pago USA helps communities implement their plans before they become stale.
“We have a proven track record of restoring historic buildings into modern, functional, 21st-century assets. Much of our work can be seen in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati. After twenty years of learning, we believe that it is time to take this restoration strategy to smaller communities that have been overlooked,” said Steve Smith co-founder of Pago USA. “While the continental United States is our footprint, our focus will start with communities in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.”
Pago USA developed a set of criteria to identify communities which are prepared for a major transformation of their core assets and has already begun working with them. In addition to proactively identifying communities, Pago USA has established an application process for communities to submit for consideration. This application can be obtained by completing the form on this website