Hotel Swisher and Pioneer School getting help with rehabilitation
COLUMBUS — Two local projects were among the 46 to receive Ohio Historical Preservation Tax Credits, through the Ohio Department of Development. In total, 56 buildings will benefit from the $67.5 million in tax credits.
Receiving $250,000 in tax credits is the approximate $4.2 million rehabilitation of the Hotel Swisher at 117 to 119 E. Main St. in Somerset. Once a Swisher Cigar Factory, the building also housed grocery, hardware and auto sales over the years. Currently vacant, the property will be rehabilitated into a boutique hotel to serve the region’s heritage tourism market with 15 guest rooms. The Swisher Complex at 115 and 121 E. Main St. in Somerset received $130,000 in tax credits earlier this year for the $1.3 million project. It was constructed in 1880 as a law office and was later remodeled into apartments.
Receiving $594,000 in tax credits is the approximate $5.4 million rehabilitation of Pioneer School at 952 E. Main St. in Zanesville. Built in 1915 on a prominent hill overlooking the city of Zanesville, Pioneer School served the city’s children until 2005. The building eventually was home to a clay and pottery education, performance and gallery center. Now vacant, it will be rehabilitated into 28 market-rate apartments. The Collegiate Gothic style building retains many of its character defining architectural features including decorative stonework, wood floors and chalkboards.
The awards will assist private developers in rehabilitating historic buildings in downtowns and neighborhoods. Many of the buildings are vacant today and generate little economic activity. Once rehabilitated, they will drive further investment and interest in adjacent property. Developers are only issued the tax credit once project construction is complete and all program requirements are verified.
The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program is administered in partnership with the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. The State Historic Preservation Office determines if a property qualifies as a historic building and the rehabilitation plans comply with the United States Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.