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Ironton buildings placed on National Register of Historic Places

Feb. 05, 2009 @ 01:34 PM

IRONTON — Several dozen downtown buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places, a move that could lead redevelopment in the downtown, said Ralph Kline, assistant executive director of the Ironton-Lawrence County Area Community Action Organization.

Joe Unger, a principal in Unger Shoes at 304 S. 3rd St., Ironton, said earlier this week he was among a number of downtown business owners to receive notification from the Ohio Historical Society about his building being named as part of a historic district in downtown Ironton.

The area between Washington and Center streets and South 2nd and South 4th streets was included in the historic district, Kline said.

“It’s another development tool for redevelopment of the downtown,” Kline said.

The designation could lead to improvements in the Ironton Lofts project and the proposed Depot Square project, he said. The Ironton Lofts project calls for $4 million to $5 million in a phased project that calls for commercial and retail development on the ground floors of downtown buildings and residential development for the upper floors.

Improvements in the Depot Square area could begin after Oct. 1 once several downtown festivals are finished this summer, he said.

“We’ve been working on this for about a year,” Kline said Tuesday. “It will allow a building owner to get federal tax credits for improvements.”

Mayor Rich Blankenship said the program could be used for building facade improvements and other projects.