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Union Terminal Still Waiting For State Historic Tax Credits

Tana Weingartner
A temporary lobby (seen from behind) was constructed in the rotunda during renovations.

The Union Terminal restoration project is missing out on another round of state historic tax credits. Ohio handed out awards Tuesday to 18 projects, including eight in Southwest Ohio, but the Cincinnati Museum Center isn't on the list.The Union Terminal restoration project has twice applied for $3.25 million worth of state tax credits. The first application was denied in June, 2016.

Earlier this year, the project was deemed eligible for federal historic tax credits. That's expected to total about $21 million. The restoration is projected to total $212 million.

The group will apply again in Round 18. Cincinnati Museum Center President Elizabeth Pierce says she's starting to get nervous.

"The project will be further along and we may be more  or less competitive with other projects that will be in that round of 18."

Pierce points to big competition from projects in Dayton and Cleveland which won out in the current round. "Those projects are significant economic impacts to their communities just as we would argue Union Terminal is to ours," she says. "But, I think they are more competitive because they are vacant and are scoring higher on certain criteria that Union Terminal, because we are still in operation, is not scoring as high in some of those categories."

The special exhibits section and the Children's Museum are remaining open during the restoration.

Round 18 recipients will likely be announced in June, 2017. The application process begins early next year.

If the Museum Center were to get passed over a third time, Pierce says the group will pursue other grants and additional federal tax credits.

Projects Receiving Credits In Round 17

Southwest Ohio projects that were approved for Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits:

Litt Brothers Building (Xenia, Greene County)

United Brethren Building (Dayton, Montgomery County)

1810 Campbell Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)

1925 Vine Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)

509 E. 12th Street (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)

Dollar Federal Bank Building (Hamilton, Butler County)

Liberty and Elm (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)

Market Square III (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.