Well House Hotel project in Hamilton awarded $1.6M Ohio tax credit

The project must be finished in a year and will cost $16.4 million.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Construction on the new Tapestry Collection hotel on South Monument Avenue now that the developer was awarded $1,645,000 in Ohio’s historic tax credits, and they have a year from this month to finish it.

Vision AWH LLC, which is led by developer Matt Olliges, is transforming the former Anthony Wayne apartments into its original purpose as a hotel. They’ll create the latest Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel, and the project can proceed outside of the confines of the nearly century-old building.

The Hilton project will be called The Well House Hotel and is a $16 million redevelopment of the historic building, which includes $3 million in funding from the city via a grant and loan through the Hamilton Community Improvement Corporation. Work was limited to gutting the building’s interior until the tax credits were awarded and back-end work, said Olliges, principal of Vision AWH and president of Vision Realty Group in Northern Kentucky.

Some of that back-end work includes getting the attached restaurant to The Well House Hotel designed, though what restaurant has yet to be determined, though Cafeo Hospitality Group will be the operator. Cafeo is also the restaurant operator at Olliges’ other Hamilton project, the Billy Yanks Restaurant & Bourbon Bar and the apartments on the floors above the building at the corner of Main and South C streets.

Olliges told the Journal-News in May, “The idea is to get it stabilized, demoed, get everything teed up, and fingers crossed, we get the award, and then bush the go-button on July 1″ as they are on deadline with Hilton to have the project completed by July 2024.

The State Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program provides up to a 25% of qualified rehabilitation expenditures incurred during a rehabilitation project, with a maximum of $5 million. Owners and long-term lessees of historically designated buildings who undertake a rehabilitation project may apply for the historic preservation tax credit with qualified historic structures (such as being listed on the National Register of Historic Places or within a certified local government historic district).

The revitalization of historic buildings like the former Anthony Wayne not only preserves Hamilton’s history but also promotes its growth. This hotel space expansion provides a variety of benefits, including encouraging visitors to stay and explore the city.

The Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel planned for South Monument Avenue is one of the first in Ohio, which City Manager Joshua Smith called “significant for the city.”

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

“It was a strong vote of confidence by Hilton that Hamilton was a worthy market for one of their premium brands,” he said. “This investment is taking a building that was originally built as a hotel and was in desperate need of investment, and will return it to its historic use.”

He also said it will make business travel easier for those visiting downtown

“It enhances the Fitton Center for Creative Arts by providing a hotel within walking distance, which will help their ballroom have more events,” he said. “Also, it will help place more feet on the street in our urban core, which will benefit our small businesses who work so hard to make our community special.”

Hamilton is an under-hoteled city, but with The Well House Hotel and other planned developments, that soon will not be the case.

Dublin-based developer Crawford Hoying Development Partners has plans for the redevelopment of a three-phase overhaul of the Cohen Recycling plant. Cohen is set to vacate its 17.7-acre Black Street plant by the end of the year and relocate to a smaller operational facility less than a mile north on North Third Street.

Crawford Hoying plans to construct a multi-faceted $150 million mixed-use development, and Phase 1 will see a 120-room hotel, 176 apartments, six townhomes, and 5,000 square feet of retail space.

The Well House Hotel is Olliges’ second development in Hamilton, as he redeveloped the building that houses Billy Yanks, and includes apartments in the stories above it. And while the mega-complex Spooky Nook is what brought the Northern Kentucky developer to Hamilton, Hamilton is what kept him in the city.

“There’s a common goal, and they’re all marching toward it,” Olliges said in May of the city’s administration. “Hamilton wants to build a relationship, saying, ‘Let’s work on the next thing.’”

About the Author