A historic bank building in downtown Lima, Ohio, has been brought back to its former glory by Columbus-based Woda Cooper Cos.

Woda Cooper Cos. has turned a historic bank building into a new mixed-income community with 47 units in downtown Lima, Ohio.
Courtesy Woda Cooper Cos. Woda Cooper Cos. has turned a historic bank building into a new mixed-income community with 47 units in downtown Lima, Ohio.

The historic Lima Trust Company Building, built in 1926 and later renamed the First National Bank & Trust Building, has been converted into a mixed-income community. The 12-story building, which features grand Chicago-style architecture from the early 20thcentury with Renaissance Revival influences, had been vacant for many years and in need of a substantial rehab.

“The old First National Bank & Trust Building once represented disinvestment in the downtown but now is a symbol of progress as this classic, historic building is now a place for families to live and enjoy all that our downtown has to offer,” said Lima mayor David J. Berger.

43 Town Square includes 47 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, with 37 affordable for families, seniors, and individuals earning up to 60% of the area median income and the remaining 10 at market rates. In addition, seven of the units include ADA features for those with disabilities, and another two units have additional features for those with sight or hearing impairments.

The adaptive-reuse project was designed to meet Enterprise Green Communities certification. The units include open concept designs, modern finishes, and fully equipped kitchens with Energy Star appliances, including dishwashers. Community amenities include an on-site management office, two community rooms, a computer room, and multiple laundry spaces. Supportive services, such as parenting classes, job placement assistance, and wellness information, are provided through West Ohio Community Action Partnership..

“The restoration and adaptation of 43 Town Square reflects our firm’s experience in developing mixed-use properties that mirror community priorities,” said Joseph McCabe, vice president of development at Woda Cooper. “The design and restoration took into account the historic architectural elements while creating attractive, efficient spaces that are highly desirable and environmentally friendly.”

The $16.8 million development was financed through low-income housing tax credits allocated by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), federal historic tax credits through the National Park Service, and state historic tax credits allocated by the Ohio Development Services Agency and State Historic Preservation Office. CREA invested in the federal housing and historic tax credits. Additional funding includes HOME funds and a 12-year tax abatement for 50% improved value from the city of Lima, a permanent loan from RiverHills Bank, and a bridge loan from OHFA.