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The Suburbanite
  • Hoover District developers get state preservation credit

  • Maple Street Commerce, the developer that owns the Hoover District, has obtained the $5 million state historic preservation tax credit it sought to help pay for it to develop much of the shuttered Hoover Co. plant.
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  • The developers of the Hoover District will get a $5 million Ohio Historic Preservation tax credit to develop about 130 apartments, offices, retail space and covered parking at the former Hoover Co. plant.
    The Ohio Development Services Agency announced Friday that it had chosen Maple Street Commerce as one of the 31 recipients in 10 communities to receive $33 million in tax credits. Maple Street Commerce got the maximum allowed by law, which is equal to nearly 10 percent of the expected total renovation costs of $51.62 million.
    “I can’t begin to tell you about how positive that is,” said Eric Bowles, the North Canton economic development director. “What it does is lower the developer’s costs to redevelop the property and it makes it more economically viable.”
    CONSTRUCTION SET FOR SPRING
    Peter Goffstein, an executive who works for one of Maple Street Commerce’s developers, Stuart Lichter, said last month that construction will start this spring and is expected to be completed by 2015.
    The National Register of Historic Places in July officially listed the Hoover District as a historic location, agreeing that it is “associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history.”
    The listing allowed Maple Street to compete for the state tax credit. It may also allow Maple Street to get a federal tax credit equal to 20 percent of the rehabilitation costs, a preservation consultant working on behalf of Maple Street said in March.
    Since 2008, Maple Street Commerce also has received about $4 million from a $5 million state Job Ready Sites grant obtained by North Canton to renovate Hoover’s Building 16 on E. Maple Street and fund parking lot upgrades.
    After the renovations were completed, The Schroer Group moved its headquarters and at least 240 employees into the building’s first floor in 2010. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has signed a lease for 35,000 square feet on the second floor and plans to move 110 employees to that space from its current Canton office around June.
    GRANT PROGRAM
    The Ohio Development Services Agency spokeswoman Stephanie Gostomski said the agency accepts applications for the tax credits twice a year and distributes about $60 million in credits a year for historic preservation that sparks economic development. The program has existed since 2007.
    Gostomski said once Maple Street incurs all the qualified costs for the project and the agency verifies they’re valid, it will issue the company tax credits that it can use to offset its state taxes.
    She said of the $33 million in tax credits announced Friday, applicants sought $90 million. An agency committee chose the recipients after considering factors like economic impact of the rehabilitation. The agency requires that applicants have their properties listed with The National Register of Historic Places.
    Page 2 of 2 - Reach Robert at 330-580-8327 or robert.wang@cantonrep.com.
    On Twitter: @rwangREP