ASHTABULA — The Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board has recommended the Ashtabula Main Avenue Historic District to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Renew Partners LLC, a real estate developer in northeast Ohio, received notice Tuesday.
The National Register is the federal government’s official list of historic properties and districts worthy of preservation. Listing in the National Register provides recognition for and assists with preserving the nation’s heritage. Renew Partners applied for the nomination last summer.
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 on the south. The listing 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. Ashtabula city officials and members of the Ashtabula Downtown Development Association support Renew in this process.
“A vibrant Main Avenue is good for our project, downtown, and the entire city," said Shawn Neece of Renew. "This district will assist in preserving the great historic buildings up and down Main Ave. and will unlock tax incentives, such as federal and state credits, for future development downtown.”
Renew Partners is heavily invested in downtown Ashtabula.
Through its affiliate, 4726 Main Avenue LLC, they own the historic Hotel Ashtabula, which is now home to Signature Health. The 55,000- square-foot historic reuse rehabilitation project is the largest in Ashtabula County’s history. Renew also owns more buildings within the proposed district. They include the former Carlisle-Allen Department store and the adjoining Masonic Temple. Renew also acquired the historic Castle Block property along Center Street, but that property is not part of the proposed Historic District.
Pre-development plans are well underway for the Carlisle-Allen/Masonic Temple project. Renew is working with Cleveland-based architect, LDA Architects, for the design and Ashtabula-based builder, JCI Contractors, for pre- construction and construction services. The 165,000- square-foot project comes with a price tag of nearly $30 million and will include apartments and retail.
Several blocks away, pre-construction efforts have already started on the historic Castle Block property. The Castle Block Building is listed on the Register. The project team is preparing for interior demolition and construction. This project was awarded state and federal historic tax credits.
“Our group is already invested in downtown Ashtabula and own multiple properties, including the Hotel Ashtabula building on Main Avenue," said Chuck Borsukoff of Renew. "Doing the work and investing the funds necessary to create this district both assists our projects and allows us to give back to the downtown community and all of Ashtabula.”
City Council President John Roskovics said he was excited to hear this news.
"It is an important step in the redevelopment of our downtown area," he said. "There are many worthwhile beautiful buildings on Main Street. I’m glad to see their value is being realized and hopefully this will lead to good things for that vital area."