German Village Gazette

Historic preservation

State awards tax credits to three area projects

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The state of Ohio has awarded three local projects $5.4 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

That move is expected to bring more than $27.6 million in local private investment, said Stephanie Gostomski, spokeswoman for the Ohio Development Services Agency, which hands out the credits.

Gostomski cited a report from Cleveland State University that estimates $1 million in tax credits for historic-building renovation generates $8 million in spending, from design to jobs to construction.

"One of the things that the state recognizes is typically rehabilitation is more intensive than with new construction," she said.

The state recently handed out a total of $37.7 million to rehabilitate 35 historic buildings in 13 communities throughout Ohio.

The sites are chosen through an objective process in which applications are evaluated on a 100-point system, which includes potential for economic development and regional impact, Gostomski said.

The tax credits are awarded twice a year.

Among the projects in the Central Region is the building at 94 E. Third St. in Italian Village.

Originally built as the Northside Day Nursery, it was later known as Northside Early Learning Center.

The property was closed in 2013. Rehabilitation plans, which are estimated to cost $1.2 million, call for the handicapped ramp and other learning center amenities to be removed in order to retrofit the building into seven one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The second local project includes a $4.4 million plan to restore the building at 1379 N. High St., in the Victorian Village area.

It was constructed in 1951 and designated by Columbus in 2013 as a local landmark. Along with several other historic properties in the vicinity, it will be renovated as part of Homeport's Victorian Heritage project.

When completed, the building will house 34 affordable housing units for senior citizens.

The third project involves the Julian and Kokenge Co. at 272 S. Front St. downtown. It was originally built as a shoe factory but closed in 1974.

Since then, the building was converted for self-storage and its windows were filled with concrete block.

The property was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places after the original window configurations were reinstated, allowing its redevelopment to move forward.

Local developer Casto and partners will lead a $21.4 million conversion of the property into 90 market-rate apartments.

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