Our Town set to restore Selby building

| December 13, 2021

OTC for the last year has spearheaded the campaign to make the case for the restoration and repurposing of the Selby building at 441 Main Street. Today it is pleased to announce, with significant financial backing from both the Coshocton Foundation and the Montgomery Foundation; that it will accept ownership of the building from the Coshocton County Land Reutilization Corporation and begin the process for immediate structural repairs to the roof. Our Town Coshocton will be receiving $300,000 from the Joseph W., Fred E. & Helen LeRetilley Johnston Fund through the Coshocton Foundation and $200,000 from the Montgomery Foundation. It has been stipulated that all funding be applied to shoring up and stabilizing the building, not for the purchase.

OTC has purchased the building for $1, a bond that was supplied personally by Commissioner Dane Shryock. The intention is to frame and display the dollar after the transfer process.

There are key takeaways from this enormously positive story. Foremost, while OTC holds the deed, this critical piece of historic property downtown will not be demolished, and a path will be laid quickly towards full restoration. OTC’s immediate goal will be to tackle the single largest obstacle to future investment in the building: the roof. OTC has from the beginning maintained that the future end-user for this location would have to come from the private sector. To entice private development, structural repairs would be the first path to this. That goal is already well underway with OTC finalizing a joint venture agreement with Houston area developers Matt Hall Parsons and Paul Gilbert. The inclusion of private investment in this project is what allowed the Coshocton Foundation to be involved in this project.

“We are humbled by this enormous vote of confidence from both foundations and have taken immediate action to greenlight all preliminary steps from architectural firm American Structurepoint. While this story will evolve over the course of the days and months to come, the bottom line is that the Selby/Newberry building will have a future. The building has stood for 130 years, and we will work without respite to see it restored for future generations. On behalf of a grateful organization and community partners, we thank both foundations for helping us shift the narrative for downtown strongly towards preservation.” OTC Director Lanny Spaulding

“The Montgomery Foundation is excited to be a partner in this initiative. It directly coincides with a portion of the Foundation’s mission to aide in the preservation and restoration of the historical heritage of Coshocton County.” Linda Scott, Executive Director and President of the Board, stated. “Furthermore, we at the foundation envision the renovation of the Selby Building to have a major impact in the revitalization of the Downtown Coshocton area both from an economic and visual perspective.”

“Oftentimes a community’s largest obstacles are reversed by an essential influx of vision and resources from the private sector. As a non-profit we are blessed to have found future development partners whose goals directly synchronize with our organization’s mission. We have established the foundation for what we feel will be a prosperous relationship with Matt and Paul, which our downtown will greatly benefit from. Aside from this project, we welcome these new Coshoctonians to our community and look forward to the good news that will follow this story.” said OTC Director Spaulding.

OTC has also expressed its gratitude for the consistent support from Mayor Mark Mills and his administration. “The Mayor took a direct role in chasing a positive solution to this problem and we share in this initial success with him. We are also thankful for the members of city council, like councilman Roger Moore, who recently pushed for a restorative solution. Additionally, the Coshocton County Commissioners have offered to pay for one year of insurance premiums as to lower the initial costs for OTC as it commits all available resources, relationships, and mechanisms at its disposal to expedite the restoration of the Selby.

Mayor Mark Mills said: “This is a huge step forward for downtown. Instead of a parking lot we are now bought into the future for what is half a city block on Main Street. The race between demolition and restoration is over, and this is a victory for preservation, development and ultimately the people of our city.”

As we approach the Christmas holiday, OTC looks back fondly on what has been an eventful year for our organization. Tourism is a critical industry to Coshocton, and that is predicated on its rich portfolio of historic buildings. The Selby represents the largest historic structure downtown by sq ft in addition to taking up 60,000 sq feet of space. “We feel the news today is not only a source of optimism for our community but will send a signal fire to outside developers near and far that the gates to Main Street are open and the best is yet to come”.

Our Town Coshocton is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to the preservation and development of the downtown historic district. It is a full member community of statewide preservation organization Heritage Ohio and a member of national Main Street America.

“Successful downtown revitalization happens when you use the assets you have- distinctive historic architecture being the primary asset you’ve inherited from past generations. Using the Selby building will retain Coshocton’s charm, provide the space for new businesses to expand, and further define that ‘Sense of Place’ we all crave.”  Joyce Barrett, Executive Director Heritage Ohio

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