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Downtown Cleveland Projects Win Millions in State Tax Credits

People celebrate the awarding of tax credits in the Union Trust Company building. (Nick Castele / ideastream)
People celebrate the awarding of tax credits in the Union Trust Company building.

by Nick Castele

Development projects in downtown Cleveland and throughout Ohio have won $37.8 million in the latest round of historic preservation tax credits from the state.

Cleveland’s old athletic club building downtown has been vacant since 2008. Eventually, it’ll house 175 apartments, with the help of $5 million in tax credits. The empty Lakeshore Bank at East 55th and St. Clair in Cleveland will become a restaurant and office building.

But the biggest winner in this round of tax credits is the Union Trust Company building on East 9th Street in downtown Cleveland. It was once home to Huntington Bank's Cleveland office, and is one of several structures along Euclid Avenue that’s gone largely empty for years.

At the heart of this 91-year-old building is a giant bank lobby lined with Corinthian columns and watched over by several painted murals.

Avi Greenbaum is one the principals at Hudson Holdings, the Florida-based developer that bought the building. He plans to bring in apartments, a hotel and a business incubator.

“We walked into this lobby, and we realized that this screams to become a center point and a focal point, not only for a hotel, and living, and hotel-style living—which is what we do—but for all of downtown Cleveland,” he said.

And it wouldn’t have happened, he said, if it weren’t for $25 million in tax credits from the state. This $270 million project will get started next year, and is slated to finish up by 2018. 

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.