Historic downtown Springfield building to be apartments, retail space

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

caption arrowCaption
Downtown Springfield building to be apartments, retail space

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Turner Foundation hopes to begin construction early next year on a project that will convert an abandoned downtown Springfield building into more than 30 apartments.

The project aims to turn the upper floors of what is known as the McAdams Building, at 31 E. High St., into residential living space, while the first floor will be open to retail shops and restaurants, said John Landess, the foundation’s executive director.

“The first thing was to save the building as it was going to be torn down. We worked with the building’s owner and the city. We wanted to try to find a way to move forward,” he said

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The building has been owned by Wren Building Partners since 2017, according to the Clark County Auditor’s Office. The company’s incorporator is listed as the Turner Foundation on the Ohio secretary of state’s website.

The scheduled renovations to the old building are expected to cost around $10 million to $12 million depending on the number of apartments created and what amenities they will include, Landess said. The plan is to turn the site into approximately 36 apartments.

However, the foundation is currently hammering out the final details of the project that has been in the works for several years. Those details include how many one and two-bedroom units will be added to the space, what will be done with the basement of the building and how much parking will be needed as a result.

Once completed, the apartments will be called the Historic Wren Lofts, since part of the building originally housed the Wren Department Store. It is something that members of the Turner Foundation say gives the building historical value.

The building was built in the 1920s, but in recent years was left vacant, Landess said. The building was nearly demolished, but members of the Turner Foundation felt it could be used to boost local efforts geared towards bringing more residents and businesses downtown.

By converting it to apartments and offering space for retail, Landess said it will increase the number of people living downtown and in turn could generate more commerce in the area.

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In addition to Wren Apartments, the Turner Foundation has also partnered with SpringForward and the City of Springfield to build the Center Street Townes, a new townhome housing development near the corner of Center and West Columbia streets.

Work started earlier this year on the 34-unit project, which is slated to cost around $8 million. Charles Simms Development is constructing the homes. The homes are projected to cost around $200,000 and townhome owners will also receive a 15-year property tax exemption.

The Turner Foundation also redeveloped a small number of new units at Deitzel Apartments and Johnson Flats, both on Main Street, several years ago.

Landess said the goal for the foundations latest project is to start the renovations and construction of apartments between the late winter and early summer of next year.

The Turner Foundation previously applied for and eventually received up to $2 million in historic state tax credits in relation to the project. The plan at the time was to add a 20,000 square foot addition to the McAdams building as well as create 56 apartments.

Landess said going into this year, the foundation decided to forego the addition and reduced the number of residential units planned for the property.

He said they hope to finalize plans as well as publicly announce a developer for the project in the near future.

By the numbers:

36— Number of apartments proposed

$10M to $12M— Estimated value of total project

$2M — Value of historic tax credits sought and received

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