Carnegie Library Master Plan
Recap: After completion of a Historic Structures Report in 2016, a Master Planning process was held. Three public meetings were conducted to generate interest and ideas for the adaptive reuse of the Carnegie Library. The first meeting, on April 27, 2017, offered a mini-tour of the interior of the building. The second meeting, on June 21, 2017, featured Mary Ellen Armentrout, author of the book Carnegie Libraries of Ohio: Our Cultural Heritage. The attendees were encouraged to provide suggestions for new uses of the Library. In addition, an online survey was conducted to gather input from those who did not attend the meetings.
At the third meeting, on August 9, 2017, the attendees were asked to prioritize the top development suggestions for the library. Flexibility, historic integrity, public demand, feasibility, potential partners, owner considerations, and desires of the residents and the greater community were taken into account. Some 279 different ideas/submissions were culled over, categorized, and selected by the group of participants in attendance. The top usages the public sought to see in an adaptive reuse, were Arts/Cultural; Museum; Food and Library/Research and Training/Education. The architects followed up on the extensive public input suggestions, visiting local and regional examples of food incubators, makers’ spaces, co-shares, and cultural centers to inform the final schemes presented to the community.
(October 11th video here) on October 11, 2017. The final schemes took into account the top desired usages of the public but combined in different ways with an eye toward the guiding considerations of this process. The desire for a free and open-to-the-public component (at least SOME of the building), the desire that the final usage relate somehow to Carnegie’s mission of education and literacy for the community, and sustainability were top considerations in addressing this adaptive reuse. Total cost estimates were from $2.2 to 2.4 million with the higher figure including a full commercial kitchen. Read a pdf of the October 11, 2017 final presentation here.
Option #1 – All Things Xenia (select link to view drawings)
This option would focus on Xenia’s history, values and assets. This is a place that will reinforce the uniqueness of Xenia.
Option #2 – Xenia Culinary (select link to view drawings)
This option would focus on creating an oasis in a food desert. The scheme would capitalize on Xenia’s location, adjacent to farmland but also located in a suburban metropolitan region.
Option #3 – Xenia Rising (select link to view drawings)
This option would focus on strengthening the local economy by providing space for job search and job training as well as business incubator space.
All options feature the following:
• Elimination of the 1930s garage
• Limited on-site parking, including accessible, at east side of the property
• Bike racks located on site
• A rear terrace, with a center accessible ramp flanked by steps to provide access to the first level
• An elevator located in the northeastern corner of the building
• Support facilities located on eastern side,
• Fully accessible restrooms on lower level
Budgets -- With total development costs coming in between $2.2 and $2.4 million, the development is realistic for the right developer and partners. (The $2.4 million estimate includes a complete commercial kitchen installation.) The budgets are broken down in different phases as well as total probable costs per adaptive reuse. For example, the owner could elect to address only the most pressing issues of roof and roof drainage for approximately $168,000, or only masonry on the exterior and garage demolition for just under $400,000. If you are interested in exploring the specific costs for the three options in an effort to put together a development proforma or proposal for reuse, please contact Mary Crockett with the City of Xenia Development Department for more details or call her at (937) 376-7286.
Potential Incentives for Development
Greene County is the owner of the property at 194 E. Church Street. Any prospective developers or buyers will want to contact Greene County with proposals for purchase or development, and to ask about any Greene-County specific incentives.
The City of Xenia clearly seeks a positive reuse for this beautiful structure, and welcomes the opportunity to coordinate ideas and end usages. Some potential tools could be:
*Tax Abatement -- The City of Xenia offers CRA Tax Abatement on improvements. Read more here. http://www.ci.xenia.oh.us/709/CRA-Tax-Abatements
*Access to special grants/loans: The City of Xenia will work with bonafide developers to assist them in accessing potential grants and loans at the state and federal level. Contact the City Development Department for more information.
*Access to state and federal Historic Tax Credits. Because the building is on the National Register for Historic Places, as of late 2017, it is eligible for Ohio State Historic Preservation Tax Credits (25% of qualified rehab costs) and Federal Historic Tax Credits (20% of qualified rehab costs.) Again, contact the City Development Department for more information.