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Community Development, Ohio City, Westown

Westown and Ohio City projects awarded Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

Westown and Ohio City projects awarded Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

(Plain Press, January 2016) Developers planning the rehabilitation of the Variety Theatre, the Heyse Apartments, and the Forest City Bank and Seymour Block were among the winners in a statewide competition for Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

On December 16, 2015, the Ohio Development Services Agency announced awards of $37.8 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits to 34 applicants planning to rehabilitate 55 historic buildings. Developers receiving the awards must plan to rehabilitate properties deemed by the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office to be historic buildings and qualifying projects must have rehabilitation plans that comply with the United States Secretary of the Interior’s standards for rehabilitation.

The Variety Theatre, located at 11801-11825 Lorain Avenue, will receive $1,456,985 in Ohio Historic Preservation tax credits towards a total project cost of $14,715,556. The theater, constructed in 1927, is an iconic mixed-use structure in the Westown neighborhood and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The theater closed in the mid-1980s and the retail spaces and apartments in the building are now also vacant. The group, Friends of the Historic Variety Theater, owns the theater building. The project, which will be developed jointly by Westown Community Development Corporation and Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, will involve rehabilitating the historic theater space into a restaurant and entertainment venue, and upgrading the apartments and the retail spaces for renewed use.

The Heyse Apartments are located at 1702 W. 28th on Franklin Circle in the Ohio City neighborhood. The apartments built in 1897 are one of Cleveland’s first documented apartment buildings. The apartments were converted to office space in 1982, but have been vacant for the past ten years. Plans call for the building to be converted back into 31 market rate apartment units. The project was awarded a $572,000 Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit toward an expected rehabilitation cost of $5,298,750.

The Forest City Bank and Seymour Block buildings are located at 2513-2519 Detroit Avenue on the southwest corner of W. 25th and Detroit Avenue. Plans for the buildings call for 38 apartments, office space, and retaining the Massimo da Malano restaurant. The project is part of a larger development planned by the Snavely Group that includes a new mixed use structure on the northwest corner of W. 25th and Detroit Avenue. The total project cost is estimated at $64,820,145. The project received $2 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

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