Cincinnati Projects Receive Millions in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits

Among the recipients: affordable housing efforts, popular brewery and music venue Urban Artifact, Mount Auburn's flatiron building and a massive effort to turn an iconic downtown buildings into a hotel

Six historic rehab projects in the Queen City will receive a share of more than $36 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits awarded today.

click to enlarge Urban Artifact's circa 1873 church building - Emerson Swoger
Emerson Swoger
Urban Artifact's circa 1873 church building

The Ohio Development Services Agency announced the winners of the state's 21st application cycle for the tax credits, which rehabbers can use to raise capital for expensive renovations to historically significant buildings.

Cincinnati came up big this application cycle, with half-a-dozen projects in the city netting well more than $6 million in credits. Six projects in Columbus, five in Cleveland, two in Akron and one each in Dayton and Toledo also got awards, as did a number of projects in smaller municipalities.

Here is who got what in Cincinnati:

• A $1.1 million project renovating two residential buildings built around 1865 at 222 and 225 Mohawk Street in Over-the-Rhine will get $227,000 in credits to turn the structures into six apartments.

• Over-the-Rhine Community Housing and the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation will receive $250,000 in credits to rehab 1513 Vine Street into eight affordable apartments above commercial space — a $3 million project — and another $250,000 credit to rehab 1517 Vine Street into six affordable units and a restaurant space on the first floor. That project is expected to cost $3.4 million. Both buildings date to the 1890s.

• Popular Northside music venue and brewery Urban Artifact will get about $160,000 in credits toward a $1.3 million project to renovate the brewery's home, which is a former church built in 1873. The project will focus on rehabilitating the church's upstairs sanctuary space, including repair of stained glass windows and replacement of other windows in the space. The work will also include an elevator to make the space accessible and the addition of restrooms, among other improvements.

"I've been working on this for almost 8 months, with the help of Childress & Cunningham Architects on the design and Kunst for historic preservation consulting," Urban Artifact's Scott Hand says. "If everything goes smoothly, we'll start on some of the projects early spring of 2019. The overall goal is to make the upstairs accessible and safe and expand our event space with additional flexibility for weddings, receptions, and music and beer events."

• A $1.3 million effort to rehabilitate Mount Auburn's distinctive flatiron building at 1833 Sycamore Street will get $250,000 in credits. The building, constructed in the 1890s, has been vacant for roughly three decades but remains a prominent part of Mount Auburn's built environment. The Hamilton County Land Bank recently stabilized the property, and rehab efforts aim to turn it into market rate apartments with first-floor retail space.

• The biggest project to win credits this round was a nearly $67 million effort to renovate the First National Bank Building at 105 East Fourth Street downtown. The main part of the three-section structure was designed by noted architect Daniel Burnham and built in 1905. It is one of the city's tallest buildings. The project by Texas-based NewcrestImage LLC will convert the building into a hotel with the help of $5 million in credits. The building is currently office space, but is largely vacant.

You can see all the projects receiving tax credits here.

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