Historic designation sought for Gallagher Building
The owner of a downtown building that is undergoing a $4 million renovation is seeking to have the structure placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Gallagher Building, at the corner of Commerce and North Hazel streets, was purchased last year by Gatta Development Corp. of Niles for $192,500. Work began in the spring to gut the four-story 1904 structure and convert it into two ground-level restaurants, offices on the second floor and apartments on the upper floors.
Dominic Gatta III, owner of the Gatta Corp., halted the project last month, however, after learning of the building’s past. He then began the historical designation process by submitting information to the Ohio Historic Preservation Office.
Two weeks ago, the OHPO informed Gatta that it sees merit in his application. The next step is for Gatta to submit an official nomination request. If the OHPO approves it, it will then be forwarded to the National Register of Historic Places for its approval.
The entire process takes about a year, according to Betty Powers of the OHPO. Gatta, however, said it’s possible he will receive the green light as early as December.
The historic designation will increase the prestige of the building and also triggers a 25 percent state tax credit, and a 20 percent federal tax credit, for the renovation project, said Powers.
“It’s a good tool for economic development,” she said. “It opens up a building to new usage.”
While the renovation work would remain in Gatta’s hands, a historical designation could affect the construction and design of the renovation. Gatta, however, said he would be happy to conform with any preservation guidelines or recommendations.
“I’m a huge supporter of historic preservation,” he said. “Making this building a historic landmark is very important to me. I will have a plaque displayed once it’s completed.”