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Historic Halle Building gets tax credits to transform into apartments

CLEVELAND - If you grew up in the Cleveland area, when someone says "Halle’s," immediately that Mister Jingling song pops into your head!

Halle's seventh floor is office space right now.

But in a little while you may get a chance to live where the Keeper of the Keys used to hold court.

“There’s going to be some lucky tenants that can get that floor," K & D Real Estate CEO Douglas Price said. “As a kid I certainly watched Mr. Jingling and we're really conscious of the effect. It is historic."

The state has given Ohio Historic Preservation tax credits to K & D to help turn the top six floors of the building into more than 120 apartments

At the time it was built the Halle family spared no expense at the time to make their building a show place.

Gold leaf ceilings and marble columns greeted shoppers on the main floor.

Brass railings and, at the time, state-of-the-art elevators.

Price says the building has strong bones and the tax credits will help preserve that character.

“Most people do know the history of the Halle building and it truly was one of the great department stores and the architecture in the building is phenomenal," he said.

The Halle Building won't be the only downtown building to be repurposed with help from these tax credits.

Developers of the Empire Improvement Building at 21st and Superior will receive a million dollar tax credit to turn three floors of the building into office space.

And down on West Ninth Street, the 148-year-old Bloch Block will be turned into apartments and retail space with a 250-thousand dollar tax credit.

All these projects were in the works before the state's help, and the tax breaks will help continue to help downtown grow into a living neighborhood.

“People love the arts community and how many thousands of people go through Playhouse Square? We think that would be a place where people would like to put down roots and stay.”

Price says the first five floors will remain office space and the downstairs will be for retail and restaurants. He hopes to begin construction on the new six floors of apartments in early 2017