WARREN - Plans to renovate a historical building on Warren's Courthouse Square will get a boost with state tax credits of nearly $1 million.
The Ohio Development Services Agency this week announced $35.9 million worth of state historic preservation tax credits, including the $983,750 awarded to Warren's Kresge Building, a former department store. It will house the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center, or TBEIC, an energy-based business incubator. Total project cost was estimated by the state Department of Development at $5.64 million.
Federal tax credits also are being sought.
Plans were formally announced last month. Dave Nestic, TBEIC's chief executive of regional operations, on Friday said the tax credit is a big step in enabling the incubator to provide qualifying matching money to leverage Department of Energy funds for planned renovations. For now, the agency is operating out of the Raymond Wean Building in downtown Warren.
''The center as a whole is being put together as a magnet for the industry," Nestic said. ''The idea is if we are here, and we are available to them (new business), maybe they will locate here. We are bringing focus to Warren, Ohio, as a player in the energy business.''
The tax credits will offset liabilities such as state income taxes or corporate franchise taxes, and help developers cut the cost of remaking historic buildings. In a difficult economy, Ohio's tax-credit program and a broader federal program have been a lifeline for projects struggling with financial gaps.
Overall, this week's awards covered 23 proposals involving 45 buildings across the state. If all the projects happen, the buildings will support 601 long-term jobs and 2,152 construction jobs, state officials said.