Tax credits to help restart heart of city

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 31, 2011

Amid all the talk of budget cuts this year, the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program came out mostly unscathed.

Ironton and Lawrence County will, someday, likely be much better for it.

The state announced last week that two projects in Ironton had been awarded millions of dollars in valuable tax credits that will help spur economic development and investment.

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The Brumberg building, part of the Ironton Lofts project, was awarded a tax credit of $1,482,244. The five-story building will be renovated for office space, 10 apartments and is projected to provide 21 jobs upon rehabilitation.

The Ro-Na Theater was awarded a tax credit of $1,581,887.

The theater is to be rehabilitated as a performing arts and entertainment center. The Art Deco marquee and interior lobby will be restored to their original condition and the largely-decayed auditorium will be reclaimed to hold approximately 1,000 people.

Each year the Ohio Historic Preservation Fund awards more than $60 million in tax credits.

These are very important and will mean a lot to these projects that will hopefully one day restore the historic arts center in the city’s downtown as well as renovate a building for commercial and residential space in the heart of Ironton.

For decades the downtowns of small cities across the nation were the hearts of the business districts. Gradually that has changed and not exactly for the better.

Thanks to programs like this one Ohio could start to see a return to the downtowns and main streets that made America great.