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A church, old factories and abandoned stores get Ohio historic credits
Nearly $38 million in credits are going to 13 communities

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M.L. Schultze
The Stambaugh Building in Youngstown is to become a hotel.
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Ten Northeast Ohio projects have qualified for the state’s latest round of Historic Preservation Tax Credits. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the plans for new uses for old buildings.

LISTEN: History projects getting new funding

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Ohio is divvying up nearly $38 million in credits among 35 buildings statewide. In Northeast Ohio, they range from an old soap company in Akron, to a John Carroll University dorm to a vacant 5&Dime in East Liverpool. 

Some of the projects are already well underway. Near West Lofts in Gordon Square on Cleveland’s west side was largely rehabilitated eight years ago. Now the vacant first floor is to become a restaurant. 

And Summit County has committed to the $25.5 million project to renovate and move some of its offices into what was the Firestone Triangle Building -- so called because the 1910 factory followed the footprint of a triangle. 

Others projects are just getting started, including a whole Olgivie block in East Liverpool that went from thriving retailer to vacant storefronts. Now a trade school is moving in. 

David Goodman is director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. He says the credits are an important investment. 

“Who we are has a lot to do with who we are. And these historical structures tell us who we were and where we’ve come from and are the fabric of what’s great about Ohio. So it’s really exciting to be investing in that and maintaining and preserving what are very significant structures for as far as you can see into the future.” 

In all, the projects are expected to generate $250 million in private investments.

A 2011 study by Cleveland State University estimates each $1 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits generates $8 million in construction spending. 


Here are the Northeast Ohio projects getting the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits:

Akron Soap Company (Akron, Summit County)
Total Project Cost: $2,266,000
Total Tax Credit: $448,000
Address: 237-243 Furnace Street, 44304
Completed in 1893, the Akron Soap Company factory was constructed to manufacture “Grand and Electric Grip Soap.” The building was later used by the Pioneer Cereal Company and Pockrandt Paint Company, but has sat vacant for a number of years. Whitespace Creative, an Akron-based marketing and public relations firm, has purchased the property to accommodate its growing workforce. The company estimates 54 permanent jobs will be located in the building after rehabilitation is complete.


Falls Stamping and Welding (Cuyahoga Falls, Summit County)
Total Project Cost: $1,328,754
Total Tax Credit: $241,261
Address: 1701 South Front Street, 44221
The Falls Stamping and Welding building was constructed in 1928 and has served variousmanufacturing and warehouse uses over the years. Now vacant, the industrial structure will be transformed into commercial office space for TRIAD Communications/Next Generation Interactive. The advertising company is currently based in Cuyahoga Falls and expects to have up to 15 jobs at the property after rehabilitation. The project is the first project in the city of Cuyahoga Falls to use the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program.


Firestone Triangle Building (Akron, Summit County)
Total Project Cost: $25,527,223
Total Tax Credit: $5,000,000
Address: 1200 Firestone Parkway, 44301
One of Akron’s historic tire manufacturers, the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, hired architects Harpster and Bliss in 1910 to design a modern, efficient factory. Now mostly vacant, the property is being redeveloped in multiple phases. The Firestone Triangle Building, named for the shape of its triangular footprint, is the first phase of redevelopment and will be repurposed from industrial to office space. Summit County will relocate its Departments of Job & Family Services and Environmental Services into the building to act as an anchor for revitalization of the larger complex.


Garfield Building (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)
Total Project Cost: $31,544,326
Total Tax Credit: $5,000,000
Address: 1965 East Sixth Street, 44114
The Garfield Building was completed in 1893 and occupied by National City Bank in 1921. National City eventually expanded into the connected New England Building and occupied much of both structures until the bank was acquired by PNC in 2008. Now empty, the building will be redeveloped by Milennia Companies into 167 market-rate apartment units and three separate restaurant spaces.


Guernsey Apartment Building (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)
Total Project Cost: $1,738,417
Total Tax Credit: $248,375
Address: 2836 Franklin Boulevard, 44113
Located at Franklin Boulevard and West 29th Street, the Guernsey Apartment Building is a contributing component of Cleveland’s Ohio City Preservation District. The four-story apartment building will receive a substantial rehabilitation, including new electrical, plumbing and roofing systems. Finishes will be updated to create contemporary living spaces. The project will retain the building’s 25 apartment units.


Murphy Hall (University Heights, Cuyahoga County)
Total Project Cost: $36,683,809
Total Tax Credit: $1,907,300
Address: 1 John Carroll Boulevard, 44118
Designed in 1962 with Collegiate Gothic and Gothic Revival architectural influences, Murphy Hall is located in the John Carroll University North Quad National Register Historic District. The building originally housed 400 sophomore and junior male students, and was the first dormitory to house females when they were welcomed to campus in 1969. Upgrades will modernize the building interior, including accessibility accommodations, while maintaining historic features.


Near West Lofts Storefront (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)
Total Project Cost: $1,109,497
Total Tax Credit: $180,499
Address: 6710 Detroit Avenue, 44102
Seated in the heart of the Gordon Square Arts District in Cleveland’s Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, the Near West Lofts was rehabilitated eight years ago. The building’s first floor storefront, however, has remained unimproved and vacant. With occupancy in surrounding commercial spaces at 95 percent, plans are now moving forward to rehabilitate the commercial space for a restaurant tenant.


Ogilvie Block (East Liverpool, Columbiana County)
Total Project Cost: $6,520,112
Total Tax Credit: $1,130,336
Address: 127-129 East Fifth Street
The Ogilvie Block housed the storied Ogilvie Department and 5&10 Stores, once the largest retailer in Downtown East Liverpool. After Ogilvie ceased operations in the late 1980’s, the buildings served various other tenants, but are now completely vacant and deteriorated. Pennsylvania-based New Castle School of Trades plans to bring its vocational training programs to the building, including commercial/industrial maintenance, welding and commercial drivers’ license programs. This is the first project in East Liverpool and Columbiana County to access the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. It is estimated the project will create more than 20 permanent and 12 part-time jobs.


Our Lady of Mercy (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)
Total Project Cost: $5,136,282
Total Tax Credit: $1,015,000
Address: 2425 West 11th Street, 44113

Closed as a Catholic parish in 2009, Our Lady of Mercy includes church, school and rectory buildings. The structures, built between 1926 and 1958, are located directly on Lincoln Square in Cleveland’s Tremont National Register Historic District. MCM Companies will now lead redevelopment of the vacant property into commercial office space. The historic sanctuary and balcony will remain undivided as open office space in order to preserve the historic character of the church.


Stambaugh Building (Youngstown, Mahoning County)
Total Project Cost: $25,477,950
Total Tax Credit: $5,000,000
Address: 44 East Federal Plaza, 44503
Noted Detroit Architect Albert Kahn designed the Stambaugh Building in 1907 with eight stories. Just five years later, an additional four stories were announced for the fully-leased building. Today, however, all but a small portion of the first floor is without tenants. Due to increased demand for hospitality space in the area and the need for a hotel in downtown Youngstown, NYO Property Group has acquired the property and plans to convert the building into a full-service hotel with 120 rooms.

Source: Ohio Development Services Agency 


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