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  • Writer's pictureAbbey Bemis

The Washington - Day 11

Historic Charm. Modern Living

A serial entrepreneur. An innovator. These are words often used to describe Brent Zimmerman, Co-Owner of the Washington and CEO, Co-Founder of Saucy Brew Works company. They are not words that could often apply in the lodging industry – an industry dating back to biblical times and the advent of civilization. But Zimmerman and partners are leading the way in the next rendition of travel and a classic consumer need at The Washington, 333 Washington Street, in downtown Sandusky. Zimmerman and partners acquired the Washington in late 2020 and began an extensive renovation of the historic three-story home. The goal was to preserve the 1890 building’s “historic charm” and combine it with “modern living.” After a $2.5 million investment and a lot of care, the property now features 8 units for guests to book and does just that through beautiful detailing and first-class amenities. Not a conventional lodge, each unit is privately separated with entrances off the front porch. Technology enables guests to book, set their own schedule for arrival, and enjoy Sandusky’s downtown at their convenience. Even with business locations across Ohio and out of state, for this project Zimmerman was drawn to Sandusky’s energy and “progressive attitude toward growth”. He’s now vested in the Washington and a new Saucy Brew Works brewpub and coffeeshop location on Water Street downtown. Having visited Sandusky since childhood, he’s seen the compelling combination of Sandusky’s lakefront, walkability, and architecture.

Before After

Fast Facts

  • $2.5 million investment transforming a 1890 home

  • Complements the owner's new Saucy Brew Works location - brewpub and coffeeshop opened in Sandusky's downtown

  • Ohio is the 2nd leading state in PACE financing - a tool utilized to make improvements at the Washington

Behind the curtain at the Washington, you’ll find more innovation in Zimmerman’s real estate development tools and strategies. The company made use of Sandusky’s Energy Special Improvement District (ESID) and PACE financing to make many of its property improvements. The ESID & PACE allow commercial property owners to invest in energy efficiency measures, like specialty lighting, HVAC systems or roofing, and pay back these investments through a voluntary property tax as they are reaping the energy savings. Zimmerman was also excited to make the Washington one of the first properties offered for investment on Rhove with Tokr Labs, the “Robinhood of real estate”. Still early stage, these fin-tech tools will offer fractional ownership of a property like the Washington, enabling people to invest as little as $1 in commercial real estate. The goal is to unlock strong assets previously unattainable for many Americans. As this year’s Days of Development series shows, the Washington and Zimmerman join a robust community of innovators in Sandusky & Erie County. You see a beautiful combination of history and advancement at the Washington and powering our 200-year-old city. Be sure to keep following along with ECEDC to see this idea in action.

Did You Know?

The Washington is one of many successful redevelopment stories in Erie County. To make a significant investment, the property owners took advantage of a unique financing tool called PACE. PACE is designed to assist commercial property owners in making substantial energy efficiency upgrades, like lighting, HVAC, or roofing. Contact us about your energy saving project to learn more!

← Read Day 10: Vermilion Main Street Beach Book Now with the Washington Stay Tuned for Day 12: ECEDC's Days in Development

The 12 Days of Development email series recognizes and celebrates another year of progress in Erie County, Ohio. Throughout the weeks of December, you will receive email spotlights on a company investing, improving and innovating in our community. We can't capture it all, so let us know a neighbor

we missed or what activities you've got

planned to make the 2023 list!


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