Lima skyscraper renovation hopeful for 2017 start

By Craig Kelly - [email protected]

The former National Bank building at 43 Town Square.

File Photo

LIMA — The timeline for renovating the former National Bank building at 43 Town Square is coming together, with the vision of renovating the building into a combination of low-income and market-rate housing coming into focus.

The Woda Group, the Westerville-based housing developer in charge of the renovation project, held a community meeting Tuesday at the neighboring Lima Municipal Building to outline its plans for the 90-year-old building, as well as giving a desired timeline for the project.

“Today was a chance for us to thank the community of Lima for helping us,” Woda Group acquisitions manager Frank Fugate said. “We wanted to let everybody know that we were moving ahead.”

Part of what made the $14 million renovation possible was the commitment of $500,000 in HOME funds from the city, used to leverage the larger development, which also benefited from a 10-year, $800,000 tax credit from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. Currently, the building is valued at $142,000.

While the financing is still being completed, the Woda Group expects renovation to begin next year, with the renovation expected to last nine months to a year, weather depending. The developer hopes to use local contractors for all the work.

“I’m hoping we’ll begin June 1, 2017,” Fugate said. “Since this is not new construction, there will be a lot of stuff going on inside, so you won’t see a lot. You’ll see trailers and people going in and out, and you’ll see lights on inside at night.”

The development will feature 47 rental units, 10 of which will be market-rate. Of those units, 38 will be 2-bedroom apartments, with the remainder featuring three bedrooms. There will also be 9,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, with a local fitness center, FAST Ohio, already in consideration for the entire space.

“What the plan is, is to bring all the equipment from the facility on the south side of town to this building,” Fugate said during the meeting. “So we’re very excited about that.”

FAST Ohio could not be reached for comment.

West Ohio Community Action Partnership will also have a presence in the building, moving its housing programs inside.

“We’re the nonprofit partner in this project,” WOCAP CEO Jackie Fox said. “We’d love to have a presence downtown, so we were very interested in the project.”

The former National Bank building at 43 Town Square. former National Bank building at 43 Town Square. File Photo

By Craig Kelly

[email protected]

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

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