On June 20, 2018, the Ohio Development Services Agency awarded $30,228,955 in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits for the rehabilitation of 31 historic buildings.
Together, the projects are expected to leverage approximately $348 million in private investment in 13 communities. The awards include projects in two new communities (Somerset and Lorain), bringing the total number of Ohio communities with historic preservation tax credit projects to 67.
“An old building can be a blemish or a promise for the future,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “These communities have chosen an economic boost for the future.”
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 if 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.
The Round 20 Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit recipients are:
First-Second National Bank (Akron, Summit County)
Total Project Cost: $24,507,220
Total Tax Credit: $2,437,000
Address: 159 S. Main Street, Akron, 44308
Built in the early 20th century, the 11-story bank building is an important part of downtown Akron’s landscape. The building was used continuously by various banks for the first 100 years with the upper floors occupied by offices. The last bank vacated in 2011. Rehabilitation plans will convert floors 5-11 to market-rate apartments and refreshed office space in the remainder of the building.
Alhambra, Snook, and Porter Buildings (Cuyahoga Falls, Summit County)
Total Project Cost: $1,837,700
Total Tax Credit: $202,000
Address: 127 & 129 Portage Trail and 2101 Front Street, Cuyahoga Falls, 44221
This project in downtown Cuyahoga Falls includes three mixed-use commercial buildings. Built in 1904 as a theatre, the Alhambra building was converted to retail use and later to offices. It will be rehabilitated for office use, removing an incompatible 1970s facade. The Snook and Porter Buildings stand together in a block built in 1918 as mixed-use with retail on the first floor and apartments above. The rehabilitation project will update the vacant upper-floor apartments and add new egress stairs.
Biemiller Building (Sandusky, Erie County)
Total Project Cost: $1,000,000
Total Tax Credit: $184,500
Address: 125 E. Water Street, Sandusky, 44870
The Biemiller Building was built c. 1866 to house a German athletic society. Later, it housed a hotel, restaurant, and retail stores. Located along one of downtown Sandusky’s main streets, the building has been vacant since 1991. After rehabilitation, the building will house the local visitor bureau, along with two residential units on the upper floors.
Broadway Inn (Lorain, Lorain County)
Total Project Cost: $9,120,535
Total Tax Credit: $1,750,000
Address: 301 Broadway, Lorain, 44052
The Broadway Inn is the first project to be awarded in Lorain, and when completed, it will be the first hotel located in the city in more than 15 years. Complementing the city’s efforts at redeveloping the lakefront area for entertainment and recreation, the building will include a 55-room hotel, restaurant, and event space.
Detroit Clarence Medical Building (Lakewood, Cuyahoga County)
Total Project Cost: $297,800
Total Tax Credit: $20,950
Address: 13314 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 44107
Built as a small medical office building in the International Style in 1959, this building will serve as the new space for the Lakewood Historical Society. It will contain a museum, collections, meeting space, and a gift shop.
Feick Building (Sandusky, Erie County)
Total Project Cost: $14,221,800
Total Tax Credit: $2,000,000
Address: 158-160 E. Market Street, Sandusky, 44870
The Feick Building, once known as “Sandusky’s Skyscraper,” has been vacant for a number of years. The eight-story building is still the tallest office building in the city. The rehabilitation project will convert upper-floor spaces into 66 market-rate apartments and will renew the ground-level spaces for commercial use.
J. Spang Bakery (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)
Total Project Cost: $17,608,500
Total Tax Credit: $1,752,089
Address: 2707 Barber Ave., Cleveland, 44113
Constructed between 1906 and 1937, the Spang Bakery building tells the story of a growing bakery and home-delivery business. After the company sold the building in the 1950s, it saw a series of other light industrial uses until it was vacated a few years ago. The rehabilitation project will build out office and retail tenants on part of the first floor and 67 apartments in the rest of the building. New residential units will be constructed on an adjacent vacant parcel.
Reidy Bros and Flanigan Building (Lakewood, Cuyahoga County)
Total Project Cost: $2,027,458
Total Tax Credit: $250,000
Address: 11730 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 44107
The Reify Bros and Flanigan Building began as a furniture and appliance store and was used by a printing company until 2005. The Virginia Marti College of Art and Design will move into the building, and it will house a culinary school, studio and classroom spaces, and offices along with a student-run restaurant and bar.
Terminal Tower (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)
Total Project Cost: $110,518,750
Total Tax Credit: $5,000,000
Address: 50 Public Square, Cleveland, 44113
One of the most iconic buildings in downtown Cleveland, the 52-story Terminal Tower has served as office and retail space in the core of the city since it was completed in 1930. This rehabilitation project will convert a portion of the building into residential units as well as space for offices and a restaurant.
Allonas House (Mansfield, Richland County)
Total Project Cost: $916,248
Total Tax Credit: $221,312
Address: 331 Prescott Street, Mansfield, 44903
The Allonas House, built in 1860 for one of Mansfield’s industrialists, is an example of the Italian Villa style of architecture. Standing through the transition of its surroundings from premier neighborhood to abandonment and neglect, the house will be restored to contain two residential units. The unique curving stairway and hall will be retained along with numerous other original architectural features.
Columbus Electric Trolley Barns (Columbus, Franklin County)
Total Project Cost: $20,531,320
Total Tax Credit: $2,000,000
Address: 1600 Oak Street, Columbus, 43205
This property is a complex of buildings related to the Columbus streetcar system. The oldest building dates to c. 1882. Over the years, it housed streetcar maintenance and repair activities and the site transitioned to serve buses until the 1980s. Vacant, the property has suffered severe neglect. The rehabilitation project will utilize four historic buildings at the western end of the complex for a public market, restaurants, and office space connected by public plazas. Across the street, 103 apartments will be constructed.
McClure Nesbitt Motor Company (Columbus, Franklin County)
Total Project Cost: $2,008,670
Total Tax Credit: $249,999
Address: 1503-1507 E. Main Street, Columbus, 43205
The McClure Nesbitt Motor Company building gives clues to its first use as a car dealership in the wheel and wing decorative terra cotta on its front elevation. Even though it has been vacant, the building maintains many unique architectural details that will be repaired as part of the rehabilitation project. The project will feature a theatre, gallery, art, and music studio spaces on the first floor, and 11 apartments on the second floor.
France Hall (Tiffin, Seneca County)
Total Project Cost: $14,658,813
Total Tax Credit: $1,463,000
Address: 119 Greenfield Street, Tiffin, 44883
France Hall is a 1926 dormitory located on the campus of Heidelberg University. The three-story building will be rehabilitated to continue use as a dormitory, and the attic space will be finished to provide additional space for meeting rooms. Historic features of the Modern English Gothic-style building will be retained and ADA accommodations, contemporary mechanical and safety systems, and bathroom updates will be added.
Monument Properties (Tiffin, Seneca County)
Total Project Cost: $1,592,892
Total Tax Credit: $249,784
Address: 24 & 25 Adams and 149 Frost Pkwy., Tiffin, 44883
This project includes three residential buildings in Tiffin’s Fort Ball – Railroad Area Historic District. Their construction dates range from c. 1856 to 1895 and are in Queen Anne and Italianate styles. After rehabilitation, the buildings will serve as apartments and bed-and-breakfast suites. One building will house a small retail space.
117-119 E. Main Street (Somerset, Perry County)
Total Project Cost: $1,898,121
Total Tax Credit: $250,000
Address: 117-119 E. Main Street, Somerset, 43783
This project is the first to be funded in Somerset, and is situated on the east side of the historic downtown square. Once home to the Swisher Cigar Factory, in later years the building had a variety of retail tenants on its ground floor while the upper and lower levels remained largely vacant. Plans call for a 13-room boutique hotel with retail, event, and restaurant space as well as a catering kitchen.
22 W. Elder Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
Total Project Cost: $1,816,167
Total Tax Credit: $180,000
Address: 22 W. Elder St., Cincinnati, 45202
Part of a much larger revitalization project by the Model Group near Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine, this vacant building will be rehabilitated into four apartments and a commercial space on the ground floor.
22-24 W. 7th Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
Total Project Cost: $1,790,000
Total Tax Credit: $245,000
Address: 22-24 W. 7th Street, Cincinnati, 45202
An eight-story building in downtown Cincinnati’s Race Street Historic District, this building is an early example of the transition from smaller-scale commercial buildings to modern skyscrapers. After years of vacancy, the c. 1898 building will be rehabilitated into 14 two-bedroom apartments and two commercial spaces.
100 Clifton (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
Total Project Cost: $1,447,725
Total Tax Credit: $202,000
Address: 100 E. Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, 45202
This building shares a similar history with many others like it in Over-the-Rhine as it served for more than a century as apartments. After the rehabilitation, the building will have six residential units while retaining its historic fabric. 100 E. Clifton is part of a cluster of three adjacent properties in common ownership that were all awarded credits this round.
101 Peete (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
Total Project Cost: $926,114
Total Tax Credit: $129,000
Address: 101 Peete Street, Cincinnati, 45202
101 Peete is a historic tenement building in Over-the-Rhine. Vacant for many years, the building will be rehabilitated into five residential units. This building is part of a cluster of three adjacent properties in common ownership that were all awarded credits this round.
105 Peete (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
Total Project Cost: $901,505
Total Tax Credit: $126,000
Address: 105 Peete Street, Cincinnati, 45202
A twin to its neighbor at 101 Peete, this building also will be rehabilitated into five residential units after many years of vacancy. It is part of a cluster of three adjacent properties in common ownership that were all awarded credits this round.
207 W. McMicken (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
Total Project Cost: $600,000
Total Tax Credit: $84,500
Address: 207 W. McMicken, Cincinnati, 45214
Constructed c. 1860, this building in Over-the-Rhine was originally a single-family house but was later converted into apartments. In the past 20 years, it has been largely vacant and even lacked a roof until it was recently stabilized. Current plans call for rehabilitation into three 3-bedroom apartments.
430 W. McMicken (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
Total Project Cost: $465,244
Total Tax Credit: $51,000
Address: 430-432 W. McMicken Ave., Cincinnati, 45214
This duplex tells the story of the settlement, development, and population trends of the Mohawk area of Cincinnati. Built prior to 1880, it is one of the few surviving wood-frame buildings in the area. After extreme water damage caused structural failure to the rear of the building, the current owners plan to rehabilitate the building into apartments, retaining its historic fabric.
509 E. 12th Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
Total Project Cost: $1,203,467
Total Tax Credit: $196,500
Address: 509 E. 12th St., Cincinnati, 45202
The two buildings in this project sit on the front and rear of a property in the Pendleton area of the Over-the-Rhine Historic District. After serving as housing for approximately 130 years, the buildings sat vacant for another 20 years and suffered a fire in 2016. The buildings will be rehabilitated into seven one- and two-bedroom apartments.
1035 Dayton Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
Total Project Cost: $1,061,311
Total Tax Credit: $106,000
Address: 1035 Dayton Street, Cincinnati, 45214
Located in Cincinnati’s Dayton Street Historic District, this c.1874 building contained commercial space on the ground floor with apartments above. After being vacant for approximately 15 years, the building needs extensive rehabilitation work. After the project is complete, the building will have five residential units and one commercial space.
1919 Vine Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
Total Project Cost: $423,662
Total Tax Credit: $83,000
Address: 1919 Vine Street, Cincinnati, 45202
1919 Vine Street is one of three “sister” buildings that were all built around the same time of similar appearance. It remained in residential use from the time it was built in 1905 until it was vacated a few years ago. After completion, it will house two market-rate apartments. The developer is also working on a project up the street that received tax credits in a recent round.
Champion Paper No. 2 Mill (Hamilton, Butler County)
Total Project Cost: $48,196,055
Total Tax Credit: $4,795,000
Address: 600 N. B Street, Hamilton, 45013
Champion Paper No. 2 Mill is one of several buildings associated with Champion Paper’s operations in Hamilton. Once the town’s largest employer, the mill operated for more than 100 years before closing in 2000. The rehabilitation project will convert the large industrial building into a hotel and event center that will complement a future indoor sports complex.
Traction Building (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
Total Project Cost: $48,303,696
Total Tax Credit: $4,200,321
Address: 432 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, 45202
The 1903 Traction Building is one of a collection of buildings designed by architect Daniel Burnham in downtown Cincinnati. One of the first buildings in the city to have modern elevators, the building served as offices for the Traction Company as well as numerous other office tenants. Now vacant, the building will be rehabilitated for use as a 147-room hotel.
Dayton Motor Car (Dayton, Montgomery)
Total Project Cost: $18,201,570
Total Tax Credit: $1,800,000
Address: 15 McDonough Street, Dayton, 45402
Located in the Dayton Motor Car Company Historic District, this building is a six-story concrete industrial building with expansive windows and open floor plates. It will be transformed into office space for Gosiger Industries, a robotics and technology company whose current offices are next door.
Historic image of downtown Cincinnati (by unknown author on unknown date) shows the Traction Building (mentioned above).