The building is home to Xenia Shoe and Leather Repair on the ground floor, which has a large shoe showroom. But the upstairs spaces have been empty for decades.
“These are great old apartments and having them full will just feel better,” said Tim Sontag, the owner of the building and shoe shop.
State tax credits, along with federal ones, will help finance the project.
“Giving a building new life honors the history of the building, while creating construction jobs in the short term and opportunity for economic activity into the future,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency.
There are about 60 commercial buildings in Xenia’s historic business district, most of which have occupied storefronts.
But most of their upper floors are vacant, and the city years ago identified filling those spaces as an economic development priority.
Local and state officials hope the rehab project will spark additional reinvestment and reuse and will encourage other property owners to pursue historic tax credits.
“I think as much as getting dollars for this specific project, this is also about showing that these credits are accessible for smaller cities,” Crockett said.
Rehabbing these empty spaces can be cost prohibitive, but, with the help of tax credits, these projects can succeed and make Xenia’s historic district more lively, she said.
“When you get more people living downtown, other things follow suit,” she said.