Challenges. Solutions.

51 Older Ohio Buildings Receive Tax Credits For Renovation

5 Jul , 2021  


By 1812Blockhouse

This is the first post in our new Challenges. Solutions. series. Through these posts, we will be looking at how other communities — in Ohio and elsewhere — are tackling some of the social issues that are faced by Richland County cities, villages, and rural areas.

We will lead off with posts looking at economic development challenges that are being met in creative and effective ways, and in particular the paths to downtown and neighborhood revitalization.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit is no stranger to Mansfield or Richland County. A limited number of projects at Fifth & Walnut, North Main Street, and Park Avenue West have received the credit over the last several years. The potential for wider use in downtown Mansfield, as well as in Shelby, Bellville, and other communities, however, is certainly present. North central Ohio is routinely and unfortunately absent from these award lists.

This past week, the Ohio Development Services Agency awarded $35,863,038 in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits for the rehabilitation of 51 historic buildings. Together, the projects are expected to leverage $368 million in private investments in 13 communities including two communities new to the program: New Lexington and Van Wert.

“Preserving these historic buildings will transform our communities,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “The restored buildings are part of the charming neighborhoods that will keep our students here and attract new businesses to our great state.”

The awards will assist private developers in rehabilitating historic buildings in downtowns and neighborhoods. Many of the buildings are vacant today and generate little economic activity. Once rehabilitated, they will drive further investment and interest in adjacent property. Developers are not issued the tax credit until project construction is complete and all program requirements are
verified.

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 that a property qualifies as a historic building and that the rehabilitation plans comply with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.


CENTRAL REGION

Newark Arcade (Newark, Licking)
Total Project Cost: $10,978,142
Total Tax Credit: $1,086,000
Address: 29-35 N. 3rd St.

Built in 1908-09, the Newark Arcade is a commercial and residential building in downtown Newark. This project includes the eastern portion of the Arcade, a glass-roofed indoor space containing
restaurants, offices, shops, and service providers. Until recent years, the building housed businesses but became underutilized and in need of repair. Fifteen apartments will be rehabilitated
with spaces for new commercial tenants on the ground floor. Historic storefronts, terrazzo floors, and decorative plaster will be repaired.

Urbana Lofts (Urbana, Champaign)
Total Project Cost: $1,709,000
Total Tax Credit: $211,000
Address: 36-38 Monument Square

The Urbana Lofts project includes three buildings on Urbana’s Monument Square; two are historic buildings, and one is not historic but will be an important part of the redevelopment project. The two historic buildings were built around 1885. The upper floors have been vacant since 1999. After rehabilitation, the buildings will house a microbrewery and tap room, first-floor commercial, and nine apartments.

NORTHEAST REGION

55 Public Square (Cleveland, Cuyahoga)
Total Project Cost: $59,209,921
Total Tax Credit: $5,000,000
Address: 55 Public Square

Built in 1956 on Cleveland’s Public Square, the 24-story office building project will convert portions of the space to residential while retaining office uses. The project includes floors 1-11 and common areas on the remaining floors. Originally called the “Illuminating Building” as headquarters of the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, the building was remodeled over the years to serve its tenants but retained many features in its main lobby and upper-floor corridors as well as its modernist exterior.

1373 East Boulevard Apartment Building (Cleveland, Cuyahoga)
Total Project Cost: $1,593,623
Total Tax Credit: $159,000
Address: 1373 East Blvd.

Located in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood, this four-story apartment building will maintain its historic use as a residential apartment building. Vacant since 2016, the project will house eight
residential units when completed. Existing historic features, such as wood trim, stained glass, built-in cabinetry, and fireplaces, will be repaired and retained.

Agora Complex (Cleveland, Cuyahoga)
Total Project Cost: $1,623,030
Total Tax Credit: $250,000
Address: 5000 Euclid Ave.

Consisting of four buildings in the Midtown neighborhood of Cleveland, the Agora Complex project once housed portions of the former WHK Studio One and a recording studio. The building will
receive a comprehensive rehabilitation for future office space.

Akron Beacon Journal Building (Akron, Summit) – pictured
Total Project Cost: $31,620,958
Total Tax Credit: $3,125,000
Address: 44 E. Exchange St.

Located in downtown Akron, the Beacon Journal Building occupies most of a city block. Built in 1930, the building tells the story of the newspaper industry over the intervening decades. Once
housing both printing presses and offices, the building has been vacant since 2019 when the Akron Beacon-Journal moved to a smaller building. The rehab project will bring more than 100
residential units to the space and will preserve remaining historic features, such as stairways, terrazzo floors, and office finishes.

A. Schrader’s Son of Ohio Warehouse (Akron, Summit)
Total Project Cost: $2,600,000
Total Tax Credit: $250,000
Address: 711 Johnston St.

Built in the 1920s, the former Schrader Warehouse played a role in Akron’s tire industry, known for the Schrader Valve still used in vehicle and bicycle tires today. Original historic windows, hallmark of the daylight factory architectural style, will be repaired and retained, and interior historic features, such as concrete columns, will be preserved. When rehabilitation is complete, the warehouse will serve as a self-storage facility.

Packard Apartments (Warren, Trumbull)
Total Project Cost: $4,998,163
Total Tax Credit: $819,371
Address: 318 N. Park Ave.

Constructed in 1898 by the Packard brothers of automobile fame, the Packard Apartments project in Warren will rehabilitate a building that has been vacant and deteriorating for several years. The building had a previous award but the project was unable to move forward in time. The applicant was successful in reapplying for credits this round. Upon completion, 17 new apartments will be available

Renkert Building (Canton, Stark)
Total Project Cost: $35,510,000
Total Tax Credit: $5,000,000
Address: 306 Market Ave.

Across the street from Canton’s Centennial Plaza, the Renkert Building will be rehabilitated into a 92-room hotel with event space, restaurant, bar, and commercial spaces. Standing 10 stories tall,
the 1914 building was Canton’s first skyscraper. Once home to a department store and offices above, it was completely vacant by 2017.

NORTHWEST REGION

Toledo Central Post Office (Toledo, Lucas)
Total Project Cost: $45,000,000
Total Tax Credit: $4,455,445
Address: 1300 Jefferson Ave.

After serving as Toledo’s main post office for many decades, the building most recently served as a school. The new owners are planning a comprehensive rehabilitation of the building with space
for a technology innovation center and business incubator. The distinct exterior features will be repaired, and the interior will be rehabilitated.

Van Wert Forward (Van Wert, Van Wert)
Total Project Cost: $12,679,040
Total Tax Credit: $1,250,000
Address: 121-125 N. Washington St.; 101-105 and 107 E. Main St.

One portion of a larger redevelopment effort in downtown Van Wert, this project includes five historic buildings. These brick two- and three-story mixed-use buildings have held an important
place in the heart of Van Wert for more than 100 years and will once again meet the community’s needs. When the project is complete, there will be 25 upper-floor apartments and new commercial spaces on the ground floor.

Van Wert Revitalization (Van Wert, Van Wert)
Total Project Cost: $12,722,826
Total Tax Credit: $1,250,000
Address: 117 and 119 N. Washington St.; 100, 102, 104, and 108 W. Main St.

One portion of a larger redevelopment effort in downtown Van Wert, the Van Wert Revitalization project includes six historic buildings. Made up of a variety of mixed-use commercial buildings, the
project will bring 28 rehabilitated apartments and several new commercial and office spaces to the community. Only two of the buildings had partial occupancy at the time of application.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Ludowici Tile Company Building 1 (New Lexington, Perry)
Total Project Cost: $2,322,000
Total Tax Credit: $250,000
Address: 4757 Tile Plant Road

A rarity among historic tax credits, this industrial complex will be rehabbed to remain in operation as an industrial facility. The Ludowici Tile Company has produced clay architectural tile at the site for more than 110 years. The project will allow the owners to rehabilitate the exterior of the main building. This is the first historic tax credit project in the New Lexington area. (The plant is located approximately two miles out of town.

SOUTHWEST REGION

56 E. McMicken – Rear (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $821,384
Total Tax Credit: $101,405
Address: 56 E. McMicken Ave. – rear

Originally constructed around 1865, this building is tucked behind neighboring buildings. Previously residential in use, it has been vacant and neglected for decades. Years of neglect have destroyed many of the historical features, so new compatible features and systems will be added for the five new residential units.

60 E. McMicken (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $1,370,000
Total Tax Credit: $224,000
Address: 60 E. McMicken Ave.

The project at 60 E. McMicken includes two c. 1870 brick buildings that have been vacant for around 30 years. After rehabilitation, they will hold five residential units and one commercial space
on the ground floor.

116 E. McMicken (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $1,796,000
Total Tax Credit: $250,000
Address: 116 E. McMicken Ave.

Dating to around 1859, this project includes two buildings on the same parcel; a larger one fronts East McMicken with a smaller one at the rear of the property. The front building held a first-floor
commercial space with apartments above while the rear building was residential. After rehabilitation is complete, there will be 10 apartments and one commercial space.

118 Findlay Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $2,304,702
Total Tax Credit: $225,000
Address: 118 Findlay St.

Part of a larger revitalization project near Cincinnati’s Findlay Market, this building will be rehabilitated for commercial use on the first floor with seven residential units on the upper floors.
The building is currently vacant and in disrepair with many missing and boarded windows and non historic finishes. During the rehabilitation project, historic features that can be repaired will be
retained, and new finishes will be added where nothing remains. The historic cast iron storefront will be repaired and the infill removed to reopen the windows.

1629 Vine Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $2,402,641
Total Tax Credit: $237,885
Address: 1629 Vine St.

Mostly gutted by a previously abandoned rehabilitation project, this mixed-use building in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood will undergo a comprehensive rehabilitation. Upon
completion, the building will house eight apartments and one commercial space on the ground floor

1633 Vine (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $1,512,749
Total Tax Credit: $149,777
Address: 1633 Vine St.

Located in an area of Over-the-Rhine that hasn’t yet seen a lot of reinvestment, this mixed-use building will be rehabilitated to serve as it was built with commercial use on the first floor and four
apartments above. Vacant for several years, the c. 1880 building underwent a partial rehab by previous owners but remained unfinished.

1633 Vine – Rear (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $796,020
Total Tax Credit: $78,814
Address: 1633 Vine St. – rear

This building is a small commercial structure in the back lot of a larger building facing Vine Street. Once housing a tin shop, the upper story features unique architectural details such as a hoist
beam and door. After years of neglect and vacancy, the building will be converted to two apartment units.

1701 Race Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $2,369,106
Total Tax Credit: $234,565
Address: 1701 Race St.

Part of a cluster of three adjacent buildings all funded this round, 1701 Race is a four-story (plus attic) brick Italianate building. Two ground-floor commercial spaces and six apartments on the
upper floors will be reactivated in this project. Original historic features, such as wood trim and the stairways, will be repaired as well as exterior features, such as the distinct windows and cornice.

1703 Race Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $1,978,558
Total Tax Credit: $195,897
Address: 1703 Race St.

Part of a cluster of three adjacent buildings funded this round, 1703 Race was built in approximately 1876 and has first-floor commercial with two floors of apartments above. Historically
a saloon, future use plans include a bar/restaurant tenant.

1705 Race Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $1,953,130
Total Tax Credit: $193,379
Address: 1705 Race St.

Part of a cluster of three adjacent buildings all funded this round, 1705 Race was built in the ubiquitous Italianate style of Over-the-Rhine. The building holds a first-floor commercial space
along with five residential units above. The commercial space, previously converted to residential, will be reversed and the storefront reinstated.

1720 Elm Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $2,395,505
Total Tax Credit: $235,000
Address: 1720 Elm St.

This three-story brick Italianate building near Cincinnati’s Findlay Market is included in a larger revitalization project. Like so many other Over-the-Rhine buildings, 1720 Elm St. served as
commercial space on the first floor with apartments above. Once completed, the project will retain this use, with an office tenant on the ground floor and residential units above.

1808 Elm Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $2,049,838
Total Tax Credit: $200,000
Address: 1808 Elm St.

A small building that is included in a larger revitalization project in Cincinnati’s Findlay Market area, 1808 Elm is an example of the significance of historic vernacular structures. After several years of vacancy, the three-story building will once again be home to five families and hold commercial space on the first floor. Built around 1865, much of the historic features have been lost, but
remaining features, such as stairs, wood trim, and plaster, will be retained and repaired.

City’s Gospel (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $1,710,000
Total Tax Credit: $187,500
Address: 1419 Elm St.

Constructed in 1925 as the First Italian Presbyterian Church, this building served as a church and later as the City Gospel Mission until 2015. Vacant since then, the rehabilitation project will convert the building into four residential units.

Eavey Exchange (Xenia, Greene)
Total Project Cost: $4,565,045
Total Tax Credit: $1,110,000
Address: 17 W. Third St.

Built in 1908 as a grocery warehouse at the edge of downtown Xenia, the Eavey Exchange building has been vacant for decades. Located along a former rail line that has been converted to
a recreational trail, the building will trade train access for trail access for its new users. After the rehabilitation project is complete, the building will contain office tenants making use of the large
open floor plans.

Gwynne Building (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $81,559,946
Total Tax Credit: $5,000,000
Address: 602-610 Main St., 200-208 E. 6th St.

Finding success on its fourth application, the Gwynne Building in downtown Cincinnati is poised to be converted from a mostly vacant office building to luxury hotel. Once home to some of Procter & Gamble’s offices, the 1913 building held a variety of office users and commercial tenants over the
years

Home Telephone – Journal Herald Buildings (Dayton, Montgomery)
Total Project Cost: $11,904,660
Total Tax Credit: $1,184,000
Address: 48-52 S. Jefferson St., 111-119 E. 4th St.

This project in downtown Dayton includes two neighboring buildings. Until recently, the Home Telephone building had a first-floor commercial tenant, but the upper four stories had been vacant
for years. Next door, the Journal Herald Building was once home to the newspaper of the same name but has been vacant since 2016. After rehabilitation, the buildings will house residential units
on the upper floors and two commercial tenants on the ground floor.

Lagonda – Starett-Fried (Springfield, Clarke)
Total Project Cost: $6,648,550
Total Tax Credit: $1,250,000
Address: 6, 8, 10 E. Main St.

This project includes two adjacent buildings in the heart of downtown Springfield. The Lagonda National Bank building was built in the 1880s and later modified to house a store. The neighboring
building once housed commercial tenants, but the upper floors have been empty for years. After rehabilitation, the buildings will hold commercial spaces on the ground floor with an anticipated
restaurant tenant. Office spaces will occupy the upper floors.

Warsaw Creative Campus (Cincinnati, Hamilton)
Total Project Cost: $17,653,653
Total Tax Credit: $1,700,000

Address: 3108, 3110, 3113, 3114, 3116, 3117, and 3120 Warsaw (historic); 821 Purcell, 3830,
3828, and 3519 Warsaw (non-historic)

The Warsaw Creative Campus project encompasses seven historic buildings and four additional non-historic buildings in the East Price Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati. The area has experienced
disinvestment over time, and only two of the buildings were partially occupied. Most of the buildings were mixed-use with commercial on the ground floor and residential above. After the rehabilitation is complete, there will be 24 residential units and a variety of commercial, arts, and community-based tenants, including a youth orchestra, DIY art space, and restaurant.

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