NE Ohio wins $26M in historic tax credits

A planned redevelopment of the Park Synagogue and its surrounding property was the big winner in today’s award of Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits. There were 11 projects in Northeast Ohio that won more than half of the awarded tax credits in this latest round (SCA-Ardon Bar-Hama). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Cleveland, Lakewood, Cleveland Hts projects win

An ambitious plan to redevelop the mostly vacated Park Synagogue, 3300 Mayfield Rd., and its 28 acres of land in Cleveland Heights was the big winner in today’s awarding of $50.56 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits to 38 projects statewide. But Northeast Ohio overall did pretty in this latest round of historic tax credit awards, winning more than $26 million for 11 projects.

The $143,669,643 Park Synagogue redevelopment and its developer Sustainable Community Associates of Oberlin won the maximum allowable tax credit, $10 million, from the Ohio Department of Development. Last year, the maximum historic tax credit was increased from $5 million to $10 million. Ohio makes two annual announcements of historic tax credits with the other in December.

Park Synagogue relocated to Pepper Pike in 2006. The classroom wing of the synagogue’s main building that dates to 1950 will become home to 26 residential units while the rest, including the sanctuary, will be rehabilitated with arts, wellness and preschool spaces, according to a written statement from the state. Eric Mendelsohn, a German-Jewish architect who fled the Nazis in 1933, designed the Park Synagogue in the late 1940s. The main building is dubbed the Mendelsohn Building and is characterized by its larger cooper dome.

Another 304 newly built residential units will be constructed on the heavily wooded land between the Mendelsohn Building and Mayfield Road. The Charlotte Goldberg Community Mikvah, a ritual bath designed for the Jewish rite of purification, and Kangesser Hall, a 1969-built, 2,000-seat auditorium for religious services, concerts and lectures, will remain but may transition somewhat into new roles. The rest of the property will remain a wooded sanctuary for wildlife including many deer.

Park Synagogue site on Mayfield Road, just west of Severance Center, in Cleveland Heights (

“We are working towards announcing some of the tenants, organizations and initiatives that will breathe new life into Park come the Fall,” said Josh Rosen, partner at Sustainable Community Associates, in an e-mail to NEOtrans. He said site plans and renderings are still being finalized but will be released publicly soon.

“We, the city, of course are supportive of the project and excited about the announcement,” said Eric Zamft, director of planning and development for the city of Cleveland Heights, in an e-mail to NEOtrans.

“Historic preservation is at the heart of opportunity across our state,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development, in a written statement. “By revitalizing our historic assets, we’re bringing new life to and invigorating our downtowns, and creating hubs for economic activity across our state.”

Of the 16 communities receiving OHPTC tax credits, three of them — Caldwell, Sidney and Willoughby — are first-time award recipients. Four projects in Cleveland won historic tax credits, too. Here is a summary of each of the projects in Northeast Ohio that won awards in this latest round, announced today.

The Federal Warehouse & Storage Company Building on Furnace Street in Akron (Google).


Federal Warehouse & Storage Company Building, 243 Furnace St. — Total Project Cost: $7,707,308; Total Tax Credit: $1,875,000. Located just north of downtown Akron, this building has long been underutilized. It has undeveloped warehouse spaces on the upper floors that will be rehabbed for apartments while the first floor will be utilized for a theater performance space.

Temple Israel, 133 Merriman Rd. — Total Project Cost: $1,248,563; Total Tax Credit: $250,000. The Akron Temple Israel Building was constructed in 1911 to serve Northeast Ohio’s growing Jewish population. Now vacant, the building will be revitalized to serve the community once again. The project includes the adaptive reuse of the worship space for performing arts, the social hall as an event center, and the building’s classrooms into 14 apartments.


Harter Bank Building/KeyBank Annex, 126 Central Plaza North — Total Project Cost: $7,500,000; Total Tax Credit: $1,449,493. Vacant since 2016, the Harter Bank Building has been a contributing resource to the Upper Downtown Canton Historic District since 1922. The building will be rehabilitated to house a food and small business market by the city of Canton with 30 market-rate apartments on the upper floors.


Avenue Building, 4400-4500 Euclid Ave. — Total Project Cost: $10,758,873; Total Tax Credit: $1,072,000. Part of Cleveland’s Midtown Historic District, the Avenue Building was part of the transformation of Millionaire’s Row to commercial use from the 1910s through the 1920s. The building once housed the Ford Motor Company and Repair Shop and other various tenants. The project will rehabilitate the building for commercial use once again as the headquarters for The Centers for Families and Children, housing administrative offices, a wellness center, and educational facilities.

The Rauch & Lang Carriage Company Building, owned as used most recently as Voss Industries’ plant, could see new life thanks to a state historic tax credit and city of Cleveland financing (LoopNet).

Monmouth Building, 11619 Euclid Ave. — Total Project Cost: $14,770,521; Total Tax Credit: $1,457,710. Constructed in 1915 as a commercial apartment block, the Monmouth Building is located in Cleveland’s University Circle. Now vacant, the building will be rehabilitated by WXZ Development, Inc. to house three commercial spaces on the first floor with 12 apartments on the upper floor and contribute to retail, restaurant, and housing options in the growing neighborhood. A new, mixed-use building will be constructed on an adjacent parcel.

Rauch & Lang Carriage Company Building, 2168 W. 25th St. — Total Project Cost: $63,404,868; Total Tax Credit: $5,000,000. Located in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, the Rauch & Lang Carriage Company complex, used more recently as the Voss Industries plant, was constructed in 18 separate phases from the late 1870s into the early 2010s. The majority was constructed by the early 1920s. The site consists of 240,000 square feet of space where the company manufactured automobile bodies and industrial trucks through 1947. The now-vacant site will be rehabilitated by MRN Ltd. to house retail, restaurant, assembly, and office space, parking and 92 apartments.

Variety Store Building & Theatre, 11801-11825 Lorain Ave. — Total Project Cost: $11,917,356; Total Tax Credit: $1,430,853. Located in Cleveland’s Westown neighborhood, the Variety Store Building and Theatre has undergone several redevelopment attempts. The building will be rehabilitated to serve in its historic use, as a live music and performing arts venue. Several of the site’s storefronts will be rehabilitated for office, retail, and restaurant use while 12 apartments on the second floor will be renovated to serve as housing once again.


Lakewood Board of Education Phase 2, 1470 Warren Rd. — Total Project Cost: $7,837,209; Total Tax Credit: $965,000. The Lakewood Board of Education Building is an early example of American Schoolhouse Architecture, originally consisting of five structures constructed from 1879 to 1986. The Board of Education took control of the property in 1950s and occupied it through 2019. Phase 2 of this project will redevelop the Grant School and Grant School Addition buildings into a mixed-use site with office space on the main level and three residential apartments on the upper floor. The first phase won historic tax credits in 2022 but so far no construction has started by Liberty Development.

Redevelopment of the Grant School in Lakewood won historic tax credits today. Last year, redevelopment of the Rockport School, at right, won tax credits (KJP).


138-146 S. Broadway, address is same as building name — Total Project Cost: $733,500; Total Tax Credit: $156,274. Located in downtown Salem’s Historic District, this property was originally constructed in 1924, with the 146 Broadway building added in 1956. The buildings served as the Schwartz Department Store until the 1990s. The buildings will be rehabilitated for specialty retail on the first floor with an apartment on the second floor.


Willoughby Union High School, 25 Public Sq. — Total Project Cost: $21,387,009; Total Tax Credit: $2,000,000. Originally constructed in 1915, Willoughby Union High School grew in increments over the years with a significant addition in 1929. Now vacant, the buildings will be renovated into 35 fully furnished market-rate residential units. The project also includes the construction of 19 townhouses on the site.

“The rehabilitation of historic buildings can revitalize main streets, help save the environment – because nothing is greener than using what is already built — and create jobs, with the added bonus of preserving local history,” said Mariangela Pfister, Department Head and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer for Technical Preservation Services in the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. “Projects awarded this round could transform a historic school, carriage company, theater, church, market, and bank into modern residential units, restaurants, and office space, all while preserving what makes them historic.”


Subscribe to NEOtrans news

Stay informed about the latest local economic trends

Scroll to Top