Developer buys more property in downtown Ashtabula

The proposed Main Avenue Historic District in downtown Ashtabula.

ASHTABULA — Renew Partners LLC (Renew), a northeast Ohio developer, recently announced plans in May to invest $12 million to redevelop the former Carlisle’s building on Main Avenue into apartments, office and retail space.

Renew, through its affiliate Carlisle-Allen LLC, has since acquired additional property, including the former Masonic Building and land behind the Carlisle and Masonic Buildings. With these acquisitions, the project has now expanded to 85,000-square-feet of building redevelopment and is expected to cost $15 million.

As part of this now expanded project, Renew sought and acquired Main Avenue’s nomination as a Historic District on the National Registry of Historic places. This district will include both sides of Main Avenue between the former Municipal Building at West 44th Street and Main Avenue on the north and the former Hotel Ashtabula building on the south end of Main Avenue.

“We jumped the first big hurdle,” said Charlie Borsukoff, vice president of JCI Contractors. “This is vital for the preservation of current and future buildings on Main Avenue and will allow all building owners within the proposed district to obtain tax incentives.”

Borsukoff said the group received support from city officials, as well as the Ashtabula Downtown Development Association.

Mary Church, the city’s assistant director of Planning and Community Development, said helping properties get on the National Registry of Historic Places is good for the city.

Shawn Neece of the Borsukoff | Neece Estate Group reiterated Church’s thoughts.

“A vibrant Main Avenue is good for our project, downtown and the entire city,” he said. “This district will assist in preserving the great historic buildings up and down Main Avenue and will unlock tax incentives, such as federal and state credits, for future development downtown.”

Chuck Borsukoff said the group is invested in downtown Ashtabula and owns multiple properties, including the former Hotel Ashtabula building that’s now occupied by Signature Health.

“Doing the work and investing the funds necessary to create this district both assists our project and allows us to give back to the downtown community and all of Ashtabula,” he said.

JCI has been selected as the construction manager and general contractor for the project and is working closely with Renew in pre-construction planning and to establish the district.

“JCI is proud to do our part to create this district and help preserve historic Main Ave,” Charlie Borsukoff said.

Renew is no stranger to developing complex historic tax credit projects of this sort. Renew is led by Chuck Borsukoff and Neece, who, along with JCI Contractors redeveloped the historic Hotel Ashtabula into medical offices for Signature Health.

This 55,000-square-foot historic adaptive reuse rehabilitation project is the largest in Ashtabula County’s history. The same team also completed the adaptive reuse of the Historic Mentor Village Hall and the Old Chardon Post Office. Both buildings are now offices for the accounting firm NMS.

In late 2018, Renew, though another affiliate, also acquired the Historic Castle Block property on Center Street in downtown Ashtabula. It’s currently in the design and pre-construction stage and will soon be home to apartments and commercial retail.

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