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Power Plant Renovation Gets Tax Credits, Work to Start Soon

Brent Warren Brent Warren Power Plant Renovation Gets Tax Credits, Work to Start SoonPhoto by Walker Evans.
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Plans to renovate the Municipal Light Plant building at 555 West Nationwide Boulevard took a big step forward yesterday with news that the project has been awarded $2 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

Developer Brad DeHays said that interior demolition work is scheduled to start soon and continue through October. Work on the exterior of the building would follow, with the goal of the first tenant occupying the building by the end of 2017.

That first tenant will be Garth’s Auctioneers and Appraisers, which will be moving its national headquarters to the site and plans to host up to 29 auction events a year in what DeHays called a “phenomenal space, with an old historic crane and the old knife switches that were used to manually power on the streetcars downtown.”

Exterior changes to the building have already been detailed through the tax credit approval process but will also need to be approved by the Downtown Commission before work can begin. Those changes will be minimal, said DeHays, but could include some very high-profile signage on the large smoke stack that towers above the building.

DeHays said that he is not yet ready to disclose who the second tenant will be, but the aim is for the building to be fully occupied by the summer of 2018.

The renovation of the power plant building will be the first in a series of major developments along this section of Nationwide Boulevard, stretching west from the Arena District to the Olentangy River. Plans for the land directly across the street from the historic building call for new offices and residential, although the team working on that project recently changed — Carey Realty Partners has replaced Borror Properties as the development partner working with Ruscilli Construction.

An announcement of the city’s plan for streetscape improvements along Nationwide is expected soon, with work scheduled to begin before the end of the year.

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