The Kresge Building on Market Street downtown has been awarded a $983,750 Ohio Historic Preservation tax credit that will help turn what was once a five-and-dime store into a business incubator.
The announcement comes as part of a statewide package from the Ohio Development Services Agency that awarded $35.9 million in credits to similar projects at 45 historic buildings in nine communities across the state.
Kresge was built in 1926 to serve as a retail store; renovations to the structure were announced in 2011.
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. The tax credit for the Warren project will aid efforts to retrofit the space with offices, meeting rooms and laboratories for the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center.
At its inception, leaders of the project said the center would help both Warren and Northeast Ohio by retaining the area’s brightest young minds. It will function as a shared resource center and technology incubator focused on making gains in the energy and natural resource industries.
It is not yet clear when the project will be complete, but state officials estimate that it will create 80 jobs.
The tax credits were included in Ohio’s fiscal-year 2012 budget because the preservation projects are expected to leverage more than $252 million in private investments, helping to create jobs and revitalize the blighted buildings.
The largest tax credit included in the package went to the East Ohio Building in Cleveland, where $5 million will help renovate what was one of the city’s first skyscrapers into a high-rise apartment complex.