$15M renovation of historic Springfield site may draw more downtown

A vacant building in downtown Springfield that was nearly torn down has received $2 million in state historic tax credits that will be used to renovate it for apartments.

The total cost to renovate the Edward Wren Co. Building, more recently known as the McAdams Building, will be more than $15.3 million, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency.

RELATEDWren’s Springfield site faced demolition, may be $17M apartments

The downtown Springfield project is one of 22 historic sites in 11 communities to share more than $28.3 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

The property at 31 E. High St was built in 1921 as a department store and bank in the heart of downtown Springfield, according to its tax credit application. It will be revitalized as 28 market-rate apartments with a ground floor restaurant space, the state agency says.

Adding more residential space will spark additional growth in downtown Springfield, said Kevin Rose, director of revitalization of the Turner Foundation. The property is owned by the Wren Building Partners, which was set up by the Turner Foundation.

READ MOREHistoric downtown Springfield building could become apartments

Life is coming back into the urban core, he said, but downtown living is needed to sustain or enhance it.

“You are not going to turn around downtown if people are not living there, if people are not there in the evenings, on the weekends, walking their dog, grabbing a pizza, going out to dinner,” Rose said.

Winan’s Chocolates and Coffee Shop Co-Owner Travis Vanvoorhis said it was a risk placing the business in downtown Springfield. But it’s one he’s glad he took.

“Oh, it’s been fantastic,” Vanvoorhis said. “We are way over projection of what we’ve initially thought we would do.”

More businesses have moved in, he said, and a bakery will soon be the coffee shop’s neighbor.

“The bakery told me they would never come down here if it was by themselves,” Vanvoorhis said. “What better businesses to have than to have a chocolate and coffee shop with a bakery.”

He’s pleased to hear about the historic tax credits for the Wren building. He hopes the announcement attracts people and investors.

TRENDING STORY: Driver in crash that killed Graham student suspected of drinking

The tax credits make the project possible but it’s not a guarantee of redevelopment, Rose said. It will be a significant investment, he said, and the market is depressed.

“We have low value in the downtown so it makes it difficult to finance a project like that,” Rose said.

The tax credits are sold to investors, which provides financing for redevelopment projects.

The new apartments will be a big boost to area businesses, Rose said, and will also add more storefronts. Downtown Springfield need more to viable, he said.

Cities like Hamilton and Canton used downtown living spaces as a catalyst for a wider revitalization and growth, Rose said.

Many of the buildings that received historic tax credits across Ohio are vacant and generate little economic activity, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency. Developers don’t receive the tax credits until project construction is complete and all program requirements are verified, the agency said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

Spectrum reports TV streaming app service issues
Spectrum reports TV streaming app service issues

Spectrum customers are reporting service interruptions while attempting to use the Spectrum TV app, the company said on Friday afternoon. “Spectrum customers are experiencing a service interruption while attempting to use the Spectrum TV App. This is causing errors including incorrect login information. Technicians are working diligently to restore...
Amazon raises monthly Prime membership rate
Amazon raises monthly Prime membership rate

The monthly membership fee for Amazon Prime rose Friday from $10.99 to $12.99. Company officials said the annual membership will remain at $99 dollars. Monthly customers do not get access to Amazon Video, which costs $8.99 a month. The last Prime subscription hike came in 2014, when Amazon increased its yearly membership from $79 to $99. The e-commerce...
Starbucks testing out stores that do not accept cash
Starbucks testing out stores that do not accept cash

Starbucks is testing out a cashless checkout in stores nationwide. As of Tuesday, one downtown Seattle store accepts only cards or mobile payments, according to a report from KIRO-7. The coffee chain is receiving mixed reviews from customers, some who like the convenience while others worry about privacy issues. Robert Safian, editor of Fast Company...
Top tips for selling your old stuff on eBay (and actually making cash)
Top tips for selling your old stuff on eBay (and actually making cash)

Too much clutter, too little money, too many gifts you didn't like... an eBay auction is one of the simplest solutions to all three issues. If your trash might be someone else's treasure, an eBay business is simple to start and accessible to just about anyone. "It has low start-up costs and it can be started out of your home," noted the ...
Moldy comforter among latest product recalls
Moldy comforter among latest product recalls

The latest product recalls include a potentially moldy comforter, an unstable bassinette, and snow globes that could potentially cause a fire, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.    The Hudson comforters by UGG under recall were sold at Bed Bath & Beyond and may contain mold which could pose a risk of infection or respiratory...
More Stories