A long-vacant downtown Springfield landmark building may soon become home to a new mixed-use development that includes apartments, retail and restaurants.
The Turner Foundation is seeking $2.5 million in historic tax credits for the project, which would redevelop the McAdams building into 58 market-rate apartment units, with restaurants and retail on the first floor.
The project is estimated to cost around $17 million.
The five-story building formerly housed the 1921 Wren’s Department Store. Turner Foundation real estate affiliate Wellington Square purchased it in 2015. Shortly after that, the property was listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.
John Landess, executive director of the foundation, says the downtown Springfield project was inspired by a similar effort in Wooster, Ohio, that has saved old downtown buildings and renovated them into apartments and stores.
"Wooster is half the size of Springfield and they lost Rubbermaid, their huge company, overnight in 2002,” he says. “They continued on with the project, and now every building downtown is occupied. They now have 20 restaurants downtown. So it’s a matter of reinvesting in our community. We are trying to create that by using this beautiful old building stock that was given to us and hopefully we can pass it on to our kids and our grandkids.”
Landess says the tax credit awards are expected to be announced in December. If selected, officials will begin working on financing for the McAdams project in 2018.
The foundation in already in talks with an architect and construction company.