3 historic buildings in OTR get tax credits

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - State Representative Dale Mallory (D-Cincinnati) said Monday he is pleased that three of the 12 recently awarded Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit awards will go to owners planning to rehabilitate historic buildings in the 32nd Ohio House District.

All three of the of the buildings are being developed by OTR Holdings, Inc. of Cincinnati.

"Cincinnati's history is our bridge to the future," said Rep. Mallory. "These state tax credits will help preserve important buildings and create jobs in our community. I am pleased the Governor recognizes the importance of history and economic development. It is significant that Cincinnati receives three of the 12 grants issued by the state. It speaks to the area, and to a commitment to preserve that history."

The Historic Preservation Tax Credit awards are part of the Job Stimulus Plan. The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program provides recipients tax credits equal to 25 percent of qualified rehabilitation expenditures.

The 12 recipients statewide are expected to leverage more than $159 million in investments, meaning that for every $1 the state invests, $6.72 of private capital will be invested in these projects.

Three of the buildings are located in Rep. Mallory's Ohio House District. The first is the "Cincinnati Color Building." The total cost for this project is $14.1 million. The estimated qualified rehabilitation costs are $5 million. Estimated total value of the tax credit for this project alone is $1,256,186.

The "Cincinnati Color Building," located at 1400 Vine Street in Hamilton County, is one of the most visible prominent buildings in Cincinnati's Over The Rhine neighborhood. The building is located at the physical center of one of the largest revitalization projects in the city's history, the Gateway Quarter. One of the district's primary historic developers, The Model Group, intends to make this building its national headquarters. The first floor will be commercial/retail space and the second and third floors will be office space.

The second is "Germania Hall," which is also in Hamilton County. Total estimated project expenditures are right around $7 million. Estimated qualified rehabilitation expenditures a little over $6 million, with a total value of credit as $1,695,986.

The "Germania Hall" project encompasses two properties, 1311 and 1313 Vine Street, in Cincinnati's Over The Rhine neighborhood. The tax credit pertains to only the 1313 Vine building. The buildings contribute greatly to the historic architectural fabric of the neighborhood and are located in the core of the Gateway Quarter. The proposed project is estimated to create 189 full-time jobs.

The final building, which is also in Hamilton County, is "Mercer Commons." The total estimated project expenditures of this building are $18.2-million. Estimated qualified rehabilitation expenditures are more than $16 million, with a total value of the tax credit as $4,166,597.

Mercer Commons includes the restoration of 19 historic buildings, and also redeveloping nearly two city blocks in the historic Over The Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. The project includes the construction of three, new mixed-use buildings, eight attached townhouses north of Mercer Street and a four-level parking garage. The completed development will include 153 residential units, limited surface parking, more than 240 garage parking spaces, and nearly 15,000 square feet of first-floor retail and commercial space. The commercial space will be utilized for site management and maintenance, plus community amenities such as a meeting and gym space.

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