Projects

First Sign Enhancement Grant approved

The Ritz Theatre to upgrade marquee/signage

Ritz Sign.jpgTIFFIN, OHIO – August 29, 2018 – The Architectural Board of Review has approved the first Sign Enhancement Grant in the amount of $1,000 for improvements to the marquee of The Ritz Theatre, 30 S. Washington St.

Ritz Theatre Executive Director Michael Strong said the grant will help alleviate the costs of restoring the signage of the historic theater. “It is imperative that we retain the historic nature of the theater even as we update technology in the lighting,” he said. “This grant helps make it more affordable to make the appropriate changes the right way.”

The Ritz Theatre is the first project approved for a Sign Enhancement Grant since it was implemented by the City of Tiffin at the beginning of 2018. The grant is a 50 percent reimbursement of expenses directly related to perpendicular signage on properties within the downtown target area, up to a maximum match of $1,000. The Ritz was awarded $1,000 to replace and upgrade the lighting of their sign, marquee and “downlight” to the long-life and cost-saving LED equivalents while retaining the vintage look of the signage.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented: “I am pleased to see The Ritz Theatre taking advantage of the program and I encourage any other downtown business looking to upgrade their signage to apply.”

The Sign Enhancement Grant is available through the end of 2018. For more information about the program, contact Downtown Manager Amy Reinhart at 419.619.5517 or reinhart@senecacounty.org.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Downtown building to be renovated, business to relocate

Seneca Cleaners moving to S. Monroe St.

Seneca Cleaners.jpgTIFFIN, OHIO – August 28, 2018 – Business owners Dale and Paula Depew will be renovating 50 S. Monroe St., with plans to move Seneca Cleaners there in 2019.

Depew said he had wanted someone to develop the building, which has been vacant for 14 years, and took it on himself when the opportunity arose. “I have confidence in the Tiffin economy and downtown revitalization, and I want to be a part of it,” he said.

Depew plans to renovate the 4,100 square foot building and separate the space into three units. One will house Seneca Cleaners, and include a pick-up window for quick service, while the other two units will be available for lease. The building also includes dedicated parking.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz looks forward to continued development in the downtown area. “Coming on the heels of the riverfront development project announcement, this renovation will serve to further enhance the area and return to use a vacant building that has been long overdue for restoration,” he said.

During the renovation process, Seneca Cleaners is open and working out of a space in the eastern part of the Tiffin Mall (adjacent to the former JC Penney store) at 870 W. Market St.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Potential riverfront development recommended to Tiffin City Council

Transformational residential and hotel project eyed for downtown Tiffin

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Ed Hernando addresses Tiffin City Council.

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 16, 2018 – Tiffin City Council’s Committee of the Whole approved sending to the next full Council meeting a purchase agreement for two of the City’s downtown parking lots along the Sandusky River. The sites would be acquired by Tiffin River Front Development LLC in order to build both a creative loft living complex and a full-service hotel/condominium facility. If the sale is approved, the development company plans to enter the full due diligence and design phase, aiming to finalize the project details by sometime in 2019.

Florida-based developer and entrepreneur Ed Hernando is a Heidelberg University graduate, former captain of the football team, and current member of Heidelberg’s business school advisory board. He has been working with the city and economic development officials on the project concept since early 2017. He cited the city’s prudent planning in the purchase of the Stalsworth and Livery property in 2013 and the 2016 Downtown Strategic Growth & Development Plan among several reasons to invest in Tiffin. “It is evident that Tiffin is a community investing in itself and its future, and I want to support its growth and development with this large-scale project,” he said.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said that Tiffin is open and prepared for this kind of development. “The Tiffin Riverfront Development will be a transformational project in the heart of downtown Tiffin building upon the already strong momentum the community has experienced over the past several years,” he stated. “It will provide unique housing and lodging for new and current residents while serving as a catalyst for additional investment in the future. This further builds on other major transformational projects in the downtown like the Frost-Kalnow Amphitheater on the East Green, future splash pad, and newly renovated lofts and storefronts.”

Moving the project forward is contingent upon significant further due diligence and market validation, but the current plan, based on research to date, contains the “Creative Lofts” and “Downtown Residences and Hotel” projects.

The Creative Lofts will be located on City Lot 6 across the river from Kiwanis Manor and will offer affordable lofts geared toward young professionals and graduates from the local communities, encouraging young people to stay in Tiffin post-graduation to live, work, launch businesses, and make Tiffin their home. It is estimated that the Creative Lofts will have 85 units, which is subject to change based on entitlement, building restrictions, and market conditions.

The Downtown Residences & Hotel will be located on City Lot 4 on the site of the former Stalsworth Hotel and Livery and provide the ultimate in elegance and spa living for condominium owners and a boutique hotel experience for guests. The project includes a restaurant lobby and bar, conference space for events, banquets and weddings, as well as a rooftop bar and restaurant. It is estimated that the Downtown Residences & Hotel will have 50 full-service hotel rooms, 45 condominium residences, and four to five penthouse units. This is also subject to change, based on the previously mentioned factors.

The purchase agreement will be put forth in a city ordinance, to be presented at the first of three readings by Tiffin City Council in a regular meeting Monday, Aug. 20.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

 

$1.6M residential rehab project receives tax credits

Historic restauration awarded $250,000 to offset restoration costs

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Copyright AH Kalnow. Photos may not be reused without permission.

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 14, 2018 – Three residential properties in Tiffin’s historic Fort Ball district were awarded Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits in the Ohio Development Services Agency’s latest funding round. Monument Properties LLC received a nearly $250,000 credit for the renovation and restoration of 24 and 25 Adams St. and 149 Frost Pkwy, a nearly $1.6 million project.

Monument Properties LLC Owner Andrew Kalnow said the credits will allow for the proper restoration of the buildings’ original architecture. “It is imperative that we keep the historic integrity of the buildings while updating them for modern use. Recouping some of those costs through tax credits makes that goal more feasible.”

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Copyright AH Kalnow. Photos may not be reused without permission.

The three residential buildings are located in Tiffin’s Fort Ball – Railroad Area Historic District. Their construction dates range from c. 1856 to 1895. The building at 25 Adams St. is in Queen Anne style and 24 Adams St. is in Italianate style. After rehabilitation, the buildings will serve as apartments and bed-and-breakfast suites. One building may house a small retail space. The project will move forward contingent upon continued due diligence.

France Hall, a 1926 dormitory located on the campus of Heidelberg University, also received credits in the latest funding round. The three-story building will be rehabilitated to continue use as a dormitory, and the attic space will be finished to provide additional space for meeting rooms. Historic features of the Modern English Gothic-style building will be retained, and ADA accommodations, contemporary mechanical and safety systems, and bathroom updates will be added. The $14.6 million project was awarded nearly $1.5 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz applauded the focus on preservation. “We have many beautiful, historic buildings and homes in our community. These restoration projects are outstanding examples to other historic building owners looking to make improvements without sacrificing the elements that make these buildings unique.”

2018 Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits
The Ohio Development Services Agency awarded $30,228,955 in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits for the rehabilitation of 31 historic buildings. Together, the projects are expected to leverage approximately $348 million in private investment in 13 communities. The awards include projects in two new communities (Somerset and Lorain), bringing the total number of Ohio communities with historic preservation tax credit projects to 67.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

ABR approves last Façade Grant of 2018

The Chandelier to install awning

Chandelier FacadeTIFFIN, OHIO – August 7, 2018 – Today, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved a Façade Enhancement Grant of $584 to The Chandelier, 151 S. Washington St., depleting the $100,000 set aside by the City of Tiffin for 2018.

The Chandelier was awarded the remaining funds in the Façade Enhancement Grant program, to install an awning on the front of the building, facing S. Washington St., wrapping around the side of the building along Madison St. The overall project is estimated at $9,759.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented: “This program provides an enormous return on the city’s investment that you can see everyday in our beautiful downtown,” he said. “It is encouraging that after five years funding this program, there is still so much interest in the Façade Enhancement Grant that we are running out of funds well before the end of the year.”

This year, 13 projects were approved resulting in $584,000 invested in downtown Tiffin buildings. Since the program’s inception in 2014, 65 projects have been approved for a total downtown investment of nearly $2.2 million.

About the Façade Enhancement Program
This City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program was started in 2014 and provides a 50 percent match of funds for eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district, up to $10,000. Each building is eligible to receive up to $10,000 per calendar year.  For more information, visit http://www.senecasuccess.com (search “Façade Enhancement”).

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Planet Fitness slated for Tiffin

PrintNational fitness chain franchise signs lease on Tiffin Mall space

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 2, 2018 – A franchise of the national fitness chain Planet Fitness has signed a lease with Tiffin Mall owners. The 24-hour gym will be located in the former Dollar General and Label Shopper spaces. The facility is projected to open in early 2019.

This will be the eighth facility for franchise owner Mark Christie. He said he has been looking at Tiffin for a two to three years, waiting on the right space. “We are very excited to come to the Tiffin market and provide a low price, high value option for community members to get into fitness,” he said.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented, “This is the fourth announcement for the Tiffin Mall site since it was purchased nearly two years ago and things are not slowing down. I am pleased to welcome Planet Fitness and look forward to continued development in our commercial corridor.”

Planet Fitness is open 24 hours a day, staffed at all time, and provides free personal fitness training, and a Judgement Free Zone, providing a comfortable, safe, and energetic environment where everyone feels accepted and respected at any fitness level. The spacious, 16,000 square foot facility will hold more than 70 brand new pieces of cardio and strength equipment, as well as a lobby, locker rooms and showers.

A standard Planet Fitness membership is $10, or members can choose the $21.99 PF Black Card plan, which comes with additional perks including tanning, red light therapy, hydro massage and massage chairs, use of any Planet Fitness facility, and guest passes.

About Planet Fitness
Founded in 1992 in Dover, N.H., Planet Fitness is one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the United States by number of members and locations. As of December 31, 2017, Planet Fitness had approximately 10.6 million members and more than 1,500 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, the Dominican Republic and Panama. The Company’s mission is to enhance people’s lives by providing a high-quality fitness experience in a welcoming, non-intimidating environment, which we call the Judgement Free Zone®. More than 95% of Planet Fitness stores are owned and operated by independent business men and women.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Tiffin University and IGS Solar announce new solar array for Heminger Center

Heminger 2Press release provided by Tiffin University.

TIFFIN, OH, JULY 16, 2018 – Tiffin University (TU) and IGS Solar will begin construction this month on the first solar project to be constructed on the rooftop of the Heminger Center located on Miami Street. The solar system will drive a cleaner, emission-free energy platform, as well as mark the beginning of TU’s environmental commitment.

The solar array will consist of 705 panels constructed on 14,000 square feet of rooftop space on the Heminger Center located in the heart of campus. Sized at approximately 240kW (DC), the array will generate roughly 270,000 kWh’s per year which is enough to supply approximately 26% of the annual electricity consumption for the Heminger Center.

This amount of solar power is enough to provide clean electricity for approximately 24 residential homes, offsetting an estimated 195 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year that would otherwise be emitted by a conventional fossil fuel power plant. That amount of emissions avoided is also equivalent to removing 42 cars from the road annually, or avoiding burning 213,331 pounds of coal.

IGS Solar will own, operate, and maintain the array. The company is helping the University integrate solar generation into their energy portfolio while helping them better control the long-term energy costs for their buildings.

The project is estimated to begin construction in October 2018 and be online November 2018.

“With current challenges that surround funding for non-profit universities, Tiffin University feels strongly that we need to examine all means for cost saving initiatives,” said TU President Lillian Schumacher. “The University is also intentional in doing what is right for the student body, faculty, staff, and local community by putting forth clean energy standards and striving to meet them.”

“We hope that opportunities for solar in Ohio continue to grow because the economic benefits are substantial,” stated Patrick Smith, Vice President of IGS Solar. “Working with Tiffin University to help control their energy costs by utilizing clean, renewable power has been a great success. We look forward to being a long-standing sustainability partner to the Tiffin University for years to come.”

Leadership Park, historic marker dedicated

IMG_20180626_112013.jpgToday, the City of Tiffin dedicated Clouse-Kirian Leadership Park in conjunction with the unveiling of a State historical marker for the founding of Tiffin.

Leadership Park began as the community project of the 2014 Leadership Seneca County class. As part of the nine month course in leadership and civic participation, the class raised $25,000 to create a community park in downtown Tiffin. The city matched $20,000, creating a fund of $55,000 for the park. The park was designed but put on hold due to potential development on the chosen site.

In late 2015, the project was revived when Lenny Clouse purchased the building at 22 S. Washington St., demolished it, and sold the land to the city at cost. From there, two more grants were secured from the National Machinery and Meschech Frost Charitable Trust to cover the funding gap created by the change in location, and the construction of Clouse-Kirian Leadership Park began.

Also dedicated at the Leadership Park site was Seneca County’s twelfth historical marker. The Seneca County Historical Society worked with the Ohio History Connection to place an Ohio Historical Marker denoting 1822 as the founding year of the town.

The text of the marker reads: “In 1822 Josiah Hedges purchased the land that would become Tiffin from the Delaware Land Office. By March, this land, situated across the Sandusky River from old Fort Ball (War of 1812) was surveyed and platted by General James Hedges, the brother of Josiah. These events marked the founding year for the city of Tiffin, which was named after Edward Tiffin, Ohio’s first governor and a friend of Josiah Hedges. The legislature commissioned Thomas Henford, Isaac Minor and Cyrus Spink to establish Tiffin as the permanent seat of justice for Seneca County on March 25, 1822.”

You can find a complete list of Ohio Historical Markers at Remarkable Ohio.

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Aqua announces new water main project for Tiffin system

Aqua_logoPlans total $1.4 million and over 4,600 feet of water main replacements

TIFFIN, OH– Aqua is announcing their 2018 water system improvement projects for the water system that serves the City of Tiffin. The project involves the replacement of 4,600 linear feet of aging, undersized water mains, the installation 6 new fire hydrants and other related infrastructure. The water mains being replaced range in age from 50 to 70 years of service and are located primarily along Melmore Street with additional portions of Fulton and Rosa Streets included.

These plans represent the continued commitment to investing in Aqua’s Tiffin system. Combined with replacements last year, these projects will total over 11,300 feet of water mains with a total investment of nearly than $2.8 million in area improvements since 2015.

“Aqua is continually focused on improving service reliability and water flows, especially for high demand events like fire fighting. We take a strategic approach to main replacement, investing where we really need to while keeping the impact on rates in mind,” said Aqua’s area manager, Scott Ballenger.

The project is expected to be complete by the end of November 2018. Customers along the construction route will benefit from new company service connections. Aqua will communicate directly with residents about planned short-term localized service interruptions outages.

Aqua typically spends between $30 million and $40 million a year in infrastructure across its 33 Ohio water systems to ensure reliability and quality water. In 2018, the company plans to spend $41.9 million in the systems, which equates to more than $280 for every Ohio household they serve.

Customers who have questions about this project should call the customer service center, at 877-987-2782.

Aqua Ohio is the Buckeye State’s largest investor-owned drinking water and wastewater utility and serves about 500,000 people in 19 counties. Visit AquaAmerica.com for more information, or follow Aqua on Facebook at facebook.com/MyAquaAmerica and on Twitter at @MyAquaAmerica

Press release provided by Aqua

Heidelberg receives historic tax credits for major restoration project

FranceHall rendering

Architect’s rendering of the France Hall project.

University has innovative plans for women’s residence hall

TIFFIN – Heidelberg University’s planned restoration and renovation of historic France Residence Hall received a major boost today when the Ohio Development Services Agency awarded the university nearly $1.5 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits for the $7.5 million project (exclusive of planned costs). In July 2017, Heidelberg received $1.2 million in federal historic tax credits, issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, for the France Hall project, which were contingent on receiving state tax credits.

The announcement of historic tax credits for Heidelberg is great news locally. It’s just the second time that building restoration tax credits have come to Tiffin. Heidelberg administrators are appreciative of the important role community leaders played in the application process.

“We are so grateful for the outstanding support of our community partners, which was essential in our university securing these state historic tax credits,” said Heidelberg President Rob Huntington, who noted the backing of Mayor Aaron Montz, County Commissioner Mike Kerschner, State Rep. Bill Reineke and Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. President and CEO David Zak. “Heidelberg University is extremely proud to be part of this collaborative effort with all of us working together to make our universities, our town, our county and ultimately, our entire community better for everyone.”

Additionally, Huntington expressed his thanks to Melissa Furchill, owner/president of MCM Co. Inc. in Cleveland, a construction management firm who lent her expertise to the application process.

Heidelberg was among 31 regional projects that will receive historic tax credits in the most recent round of funding. In all, the Ohio Development Services Agency approved $30.2 million in credits for 13 communities, including about $1.71 million for two northwest Ohio projects, both in Tiffin. In addition to Heidelberg’s France Hall project, Monument Properties is to receive a tax credit of nearly $250,000 to renovate three residential buildings in the Fort Ball-Railroad Area Historic District.

When the restoration/renovation project is complete, France Hall will be integral to engaging women with new, innovative living, learning and leadership opportunities, while supporting Heidelberg’s academic programs. The new France Hall will provide residential space for approximately 70 women students and private apartments for two female faculty members. Other features include office space for The Patricia Adams Lecture Series and other campus women’s leadership initiatives, space for all five of Heidelberg’s women’s Greek organizations, community outreach space, and renovations to the building’s Great Hall to create more space for activities and events. It is a major element in Heidelberg’s Residential Living Plan Vision.

To date, private donors have committed more than $3.1 million toward the project.

“France Hall, in its current configuration and condition, no longer meets the needs of our contemporary women students,” Huntington said. “Yet, we recognize the importance of preserving its heritage. The time has come to bring France Hall into the 21st century and transform it into a compelling, exciting and attractive facility for the campus and the community.”

The project has tremendous potential, Huntington added, because of unique opportunities to bring together the university community with the broader Tiffin community.

“This project will put a new and different face on what residential living can look like at Heidelberg,” he said. “It will integrate academic and co-curricular programs, personal and professional domains, and campus and community circles into a rich and powerful total undergraduate experience for our women students, as well as for male students when special events are hosted in France. We look forward to starting this construction work soon!”

France Hall was constructed in 1925 and is named in recognition of Luella Blackwell France, a benefactor of the university. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It has never undergone a major renovation in its 92-year history.

According to SIEDC, the Tunison Flats housing project received $99,031 in December 2016, designated to rehabilitate and preserve the 1880s-era apartment complex on Frost Parkway.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program is administered in partnership with the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. The State Historic Preservation Office determines if a property qualifies as a historic building and that the rehabilitation plans comply with the United States Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Press release provided by Heidelberg University.