Friday, March 25, 2011

Moving Costs in for Corryville houses. "Preservation Heros" needed !

OTR Adopt has obtained bids for the moving of several historic homes slated for demolition to build student housing that will forever destroy one of the nicest Historic Blocks in Corryville. In ANY other city this travesty would not take place but we have a short sighted municipal government who are looking strictly in the short term and are willing to allow history to be destroyed.  In my opinion, they do so at their own Political Peril because the Preservation Community is now score and memories that will carry into the next election cycle where I predict those who support senseless demolition policies may find themselves looking for new jobs..

However these home scan be moved and lots have been located. The moving estimates are in and they range in price from a very reasonable 40K to move the frame Italianate home to a more daunting 150-250K to move the highly architecturally detailed larger brick homes. These homes can be saved and it is my belief that even with the high cost of moving in the long term they are economically viable. Cincinnati has a 10 year tax abatement program that would allow for a 10 year tax abatement up to 275,000.00.

I would urge the council to create a special exemption/exception to increase this abatement for moving a historic structure to 500K and for a 20 year period. If these properties are demoed they will generate ZERO property tax revenue, by moving  them they will create eventual tax revenues and the city should do that because they could and its the right thing to do.

These homes are on the city Historic Building inventory report and may qualify for certain historic tax credits and there might be some grants monies  (if one looks hard enough) as well..

If we take along term approach these homes make economic sense. they can be restored at a cost per foot equal to now construction and are of much higher quality. They could also be re-purposed , perhaps to multi unit condos,or possible office uses like law firm or real estate offices though the best highest use would be as the grand single family homes they were originally.

I would encourage groups like the builders associations and other local corporate interests to take a serious look at the long term use of these buildings and remind them that they could even help underwrite or sponsor one of these moves. I am sure that their company banner and logo hanging from one of these homes as this house move is picked up on a national level news media creates marketing and advertising opportunity and could perhaps even be largely tax deductible, not to mention the 'goodwill' generated locally?

Our firm Victorian Antiquities and Design will commit to writing a restoration plan for anyone who wants to save and restore on of these buildings.

So this is a call to all you "Preservation Heroes" , individual and corporate to save a piece of Cincinnati history and keeping this wonderful; gilded age architecture from a landfill. More information can be obtained from OTR ADOPT or Cincinnati Preservation Association.

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