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Defiance County Eager to Meet Developer Needs

Updated: Sep 19, 2022

September 6, 2022

It’s not a matter of if you build it they will come. They are already here and need it built now.

There is an increased demand for housing in Defiance County as residents have come to the county because of jobs, its great quality of life, schools and other factors.

Officials with the towns and villages in the county are all eager to meet prospective real estate developers and have many different incentives in place to help make developments happen.

Here is a look at three of the communities in the county and what they have to offer.


The village has it all for anyone wanting to live here, but of course “housing is an issue,” according to Mayor Ron Jones.

“The best thing (here) is the small town atmosphere,” praised Jones. “We are 20 minutes away from anything in Fort Wayne and 30 minutes from Defiance. We have a great school, a hospital, great park system. We have the theater (Huber Opera House and Civic Center and lots of good restaurants. Housing is the issue.”

The village also has a lot of industries. The workforce needs places to live.

“I’d love just to see single family homes (come in),” Jones confided. “We have the CRA (Community Reinvestment Area) for the whole town. …. I know that other communities have that, but it’s only in certain areas. Hicksville - it’s the whole town, no matter where you build, even commercial (properties).”

The village also has purchased land, already plotted and annexed into the city – primed for a developer.

“The street is already started,” Jones stated about Labar Drive. “We are trying to sell that to a developer and put in water/sewer infrastructure. We have the land. We’re pushing to be developed. There is up to 54 lots plotted right now. It’s ready to go.”

Jones added that there are a few people who inquire about starting little housing additions as well.

“There are several little places (around town), where a street is started,” he said. “There is room to be expanded.… The potential is there.”

Jones said the problem has been getting builders to come to the village. He has been in contact with several and is currently reaching outside of the state.

“I’d show them the potential (here),” he promised, adding schooling is a big thing. “They want to make sure there is a good school like Hicksville has. We have the jobs. The bottom line is they spend that kind of money (to develop properties) they want to sell the houses.”

That won’t be a problem as Hicksville as its assets continues to attract residents.

Labar Drive

“You look at the downtown,” Jones said. “You go through smaller towns and there’s not much there. There are a few storefronts that are for sale, but our downtown is full.”

He stressed officials currently are working on putting in walking trails – one near Labar Drive and another around the village park. The Hicksville Foundation is working to put in a splash pad, while the village is planning a new pool all to make life better fore residents.

Those are all prime reasons more housing is needed in the village.


Even during COVID, the village of Sherwood continued to grow.

“The community – it’s a great place to live,” said Mayor Jack Stantz. “It’s a friendly town. The school system is good. It’s a growing community.”

Stantz remarked that Sherwood is the center of Defiance County and close