Findlay project given $325,000 in tax credits

State award to help restore 2 historic buildings

6/24/2014
BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A downtown Findlay redevelopment plan will receive $325,000 in state historic preservation tax credits, the only northwest Ohio project to receive the boost in this award cycle.

Buildings near the Hancock County Courthouse will be transformed into a mixed-use project to include commercial office space and six apartments, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency, which planned to make the announcement as part of $37.7 million in credits awarded throughout the state at a Findlay news conference today.

The Findlay buildings are among a handful of properties previously owned by Hancock County that had been slated for demolition but were sold to a development team last year for $340,000, said county Commissioner Brian Robertson, who praised the tax credit-assisted project for sparking revitalization, investing in downtown, and creating jobs.

Two vacant buildings included in a $2.4 million redevelopment project — the Davis Building and the Knights of Columbus building — will receive $325,000 in state tax credits.

A representative for developer FD Main Street Ltd., made up of several local investors, could not be reached for comment Monday.

“I think downtown is really seeing a resurgence in terms of reinvestment, and it is happening really quickly,” said Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik.

Findlay’s downtown is included in a historic district added to the National Register of Historic Places in the mid-1980s.

The three-story Davis Building, 320 S. Main St., dates to 1841 and is one of the oldest downtown structures, according to information from the Hancock Historical Museum. Previous occupants have included the Hancock Courier Printing Office, a general merchandise store, a bank, drugstore, and attorney offices.

The building plan includes repairing an exposed brick wall and building a new commercial storefront, according to the state.

The Knights of Columbus building, 316 Dorney Plaza, was built in 1876, and bought and used by the fraternal organization in 1921 until the group moved in 1956. Its redevelopment includes removing nonhistoric walls and restoring the original ceiling height.

The state awards $60 million annually in tax credits, or roughly $30 million at each of the twice-a-year announcements. The Findlay project was the only one from northwest Ohio to apply for this funding cycle, said Stephanie Gostomski, development services agency spokesman.

The bulk of the $37.7 million in funding from this cycle will go for projects in other parts of the state, including Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati to reinvigorate a total of 35 historic buildings. Recipients in the other communities will be announced today.

Northwest Ohio has had 10 projects receive the tax credits since the first awards in 2007, including the Standart Lofts in downtown Toledo and North Toledo’s Ohio Theatre.

“This part of the state historically hasn’t had the project base that other cities have had, but we are working very hard to reach out to parts of the state that haven’t taken advantage of this program,” Ms. Gostomski said.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6065, or on Twitter @vanmccray.