Christmas Came Early for Southwest Ohio Developers, Historic Preservationists

The Ohio Development Services Agency provided developers and historic preservationists around the state with an early Christmas present when they announced 18 projects that would receive Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

In total, the tax credits are worth $22.8 million and are expected to spur $225.6 million in private investment.

“A community’s historic buildings make it unique,” said David Goodman, director of the ODSA. “Giving a building new life honors the history of the building, while creating construction jobs in the short-term and opportunity for economic activity in the future.”

In recent years southwest Ohio had fared extremely well in the competitive bid process for the funds, and this round proved to be much of the same. This group of winning applicants includes five from Cincinnati, one from Hamilton, and two from the Dayton area.

One of the Dayton projects was the winner of one of the state’s two prestigious $5 million awards. That money will go toward the $46 million United Brethren Building project in downtown Dayton, which will transform the long-vacant, 112-year-old building into 164 apartments.

While the Cincinnati-region had the most number of awarded projects, most of the tax credits were small in size. Four projects, three located in Over-the-Rhine and one in Hamilton, received amounts ranging from $150,000 to $250,000. While small in scope, the projects will save numerous historic structures from demolition, while also creating dozens of residential units and commercial space.

The long-debated Freeport Row project, located at Liberty and Elm Streets, received a sizable $1,358,772 tax credit to help restore five historic structures as part of the overall $25 million development. Once complete, the project is expected to yield 110 apartments, 17,000 square feet of retail, and a total of 100,000 square feet of new construction on the vacant lots surrounding the historic structures.

Just blocks north of Freeport Row, along the Cincinnati Bell Connector, is another project that took home the largest tax credit in Cincinnati. Market Square III was awarded with $1,690,000 in tax credits and push forward the latest phase of Model Group’s massive redevelopment efforts surrounding Findlay Market.

Market Square III will renovate eight historic structures, most of which are currently vacant, to include street-level commercial space with 38 apartments in the upper floors.

Grandin Properties To Celebrate Ribbon Cutting For $2M Hogan Building Restoration

Roughly two years ago UrbanCincy reported that Grandin Properties had been awarded nearly $400,000 in historic tax credits from the Ohio Development Services Agency. The past 24 months have proved fruitful, and neighborhood leaders now intend to celebrate a ribbon cutting for the $2 million project on Tuesday.

The developers say that the Hogan Building is already 50% leased, and that the 12 residences range from $995 per month for one-bedroom units, up to $2,395 per month for two-story, two-bedroom units with decks.

The restoration work brings two historic structures back to life that are now 138-years-old.

The project is named after Ohio Attorney General Timothy Hogan for his courageous role in defending German immigrants during the anti-German hysteria during World War I. Interestingly enough, Hogan is also the grandfather of Peg Wyant – the Founder and CEO of Grandin Properties.

“Few in any age have the courage to stand up to such hysteria,” Wyant said. “On behalf of two high school teachers of German, he filed suit against Ohio demanding preservation of the right to speak and use and teach the language of ones choosing.”

Wyant went on to say that Hogan won that case, which has since become known as the German School case in the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Hogan Building, of course, also represents a win for the State of Ohio’s bold historic tax credit program which is seen as saving hundreds of buildings and spurring millions of private investment throughout the state.

“This is public-private money coming together,” explained David Goodman, Director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “Saving historic buildings strengthens Ohio’s communities which attracts businesses and visitors to the state.”

The conclusion of work at the Hogan Building also comes just after Grandin Properties announced an intention to raise $5 million to $10 million in private equity to spur even more redevelopment work in Over-the-Rhine. To date, Grandin Properties has completed seven projects tallying nearly $10 million in private investments.

Denis Back served as the project architect, while Hudepohl Construction worked as the general contractor. The property was sold to Grandin Properties by 3CDC. It was financed through PNC, with financial support from the City of Cincinnati and Ohio Development Services Agency.

Those interested in touring the remaining available units can do so by contacting leasing@grandinproperties.com or (513) 871-7110. Those looking to participate in the ribbon cutting festivities are encouraged to arrive at the project site, located at 1317 and 1319 Republic Street, by 10:30am on Tuesday, January 12.

State Historic Tax Credit Expected to Boost $3.1M Renovation of Goetz Tower

The seven-story Middletown Building & Deposit Association tower in Butler County was one of 12 projects in southwest Ohio to receive historic tax credits last month from the State of Ohio. As part of the deal, the $3.1 million project will receive $600,000.

The redevelopment of the 85-year-old structure will result in expanded and renovated street-level retail space, with 24 market-rate apartments on the six floors above that.

The hope is that other similar, but smaller-scale, projects come online, as is expected, after the next round of historic tax credits are awarded this spring.

As earlier reported by UrbanCincy, this award was part of a larger $42 million distribution of historic tax credits state-wide by the Ohio Development Services Agency. The goal of the tax credits, public officials say, is to spark economic development while also preserving historic structures. It is anticipated that this round of awards will spur an estimated $600 million in private investment.

This award comes after nearly $150,000 in grants for assessments and site preparation awarded by the Duke Energy Foundation, US Environmental Protection Agency, and Cincinnati Development Fund. The moment that really gave the project its initial boost, however, came in 2012 when the building was donated to Grassroots Ohio by Fifth Third Bank.

In conjunction with the $10 million rehabilitation of the Sorg Opera House, city officials and private developers are expecting to leverage this initial project to spur additional development nearby. They are also hoping to leverage its location across from Cincinnati State’s Middletown campus as a walkable alternative to students who are primarily commuting from outside the city.

Built in 1930, the seven-story, Art Deco building has survived decades of changes in the heart of Middletown. Upon completion of renovations, project officials say that the building will be renamed Goetz Tower in honor of its original architect.

Construction is anticipated to start in March and last approximately 18 months.

Over-the-Rhine Wins Big in Latest Round of Ohio Historic Tax Credits

The Ohio Development Services Agency divvied up its thirteenth round of historic tax credits yesterday. As has been the case in the past, Over-the-Rhine, one of the nation’s largest historic districts, was a big winner.

In addition to the mega tax credit awarded to Music Hall, five other projects in the neighborhood received tax credits through the program.

Urban Sites received two tax credits totaling $500,000 that will enable the Over-the-Rhine-based developer to restore three historic structures on Main Street and Clay Street; and create 23 apartments along with street-level retail.

Another project at 51 E. Clifton Avenue received a $147,000 tax credit that will go to help cover the costs of the $750,000 project, and ultimately create seven market-rate apartments in the 124-year-old structure.

Another big winner, in addition to Music Hall and Urban Sites, was Grandin Properties – a company that has taken an increasing interest in the neighborhood and even relocated their office to the Washington Park district in recent months.

Through the historic tax credit program, Grandin Properties will receive nearly $400,000 for their planned $1.5 million renovation of two 136-year-old buildings on Republic Street in between Thirteenth and Fourteenth. Once complete, developers say that the buildings will have 12 residential apartments.

“These projects transform vacant and underutilized properties into viable places for business and living,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, in a prepared release. “This program has been a valuable tool for community revitalization.”

State officials say that the application deadline for the next round of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program is March 31, 2015, and that approved applicants will be announced at the end of June 2015.