Developer Steve Coon walks through the Goetz Tower on the corner of Central Avenue and Main Street Friday, Oct. 26 in Middletown. After a water line break last winter, the Goetz Tower project is expected to get back on track to redevelop the office building into retail and apartment space. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Redevelopment of this 88-year-old Middletown tower back on track to feature apartments, businesses

The redevelopment of the Goetz Tower could begin as soon as Thanksgiving, said Steve Coon, president of Canton-based Coon Restoration and Sealants and the Historic Goetz Tower LLC. The structural and design drawings for the $3.5 million project are completed and contracts are being let out to bid, he said.

MORE: Middletown building finalist in photo contest; voting ends Tuesday

Coon said plans include 2,000 square feet of office space on the first floor, a second-floor mezzanine and 16 market-rate apartments ranging from 800 to 1,100 square feet inside the seven-story, Art Deco building. The building was constructed at 1000 Central Ave. by the Middletown Building and Deposit Association in 1930.

Jennifer Ekey, Middletown’s economic development director, said her department and the Small Business Development Center would occupy the first and second floors of the building. The new office also would provide space to Middletown Moving Forward or other city partners, she said.

Developer Steve Coon walks through the Goetz Tower on the corner of Central Avenue and Main Street Friday, Oct. 26 in Middletown. After a water line break last winter, the Goetz Tower project is expected to get back on track to redevelop the office building into retail and apartment space. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

“What a better way to tell people we’re in business and want to make things happen than being here yourself,” Coon said. “This is one of the prettiest buildings in Middletown. We just have to breathe new life into it.”

He said he will be keeping much of the building’s original look, such as the mail slots, terrazzo flooring and other features. On the upper two floors, there will be four units that will be stacked for an upper and lower level and will feature a spiral staircase as well as private roof patios.

MORE: Economic directors paint positive picture for Butler County

The project has been in the works since 2014. One of the issues that delayed progress was an interior fire main that burst on the building’s fourth-floor around New Years Day. 

Water ran from the pipe for more than 48 hours at a time when the temperatures hit minus 10 degrees with wind speeds of 30 mph, Coon said. Ekey said an adjacent business owner contacted her to report flowing under the doors and freezing.

Developer Steve Coon walks through the Goetz Tower on the corner of Central Avenue and Main Street Friday, Oct. 26 in Middletown. After a water line break last winter, the Goetz Tower project is expected to get back on track to redevelop the office building into retail and apartment space. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

When Coon and others entered the building, they found the basement had been flooded from the water running down from the fourth floor. He also said when the walls remained damp, they found more water in other places in the building 30 days after the break.

MORE: Middletown focusing in on downtown living

The water damage put the project behind schedule by a year to 14 months, which required Coon to get extensions for state and federal historic tax credits. In addition, Middletown City Council recently extended its Community Reinvestment Area abatement completion date to Dec. 31, 2019. That agreement provides a 100 percent tax abatement for 12 years. The Ohio Developmental Services Agency also agreed to continue the historic tax credits with the same completion date as the city.

Coon, who has restored buildings statewide, also has worked with several buildings in Hamilton including the ArtSpace Hamilton and the Historic Mercantile Lofts, the former Journal-News building, and the former Fifth Third building. His work also includes projects throughout northeast Ohio as well as the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial on Lake Erie. In 2017, he purchased the iconic Longaberger building, shaped like a basket, outside of Newark.

Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X