Sandusky approves loan for Rieger developers

Sandusky city commissioners approved a $150,000 loan so developers can transform century-old hotel rooms into swanky pads for senior citizens.
Andy Ouriel
Feb 19, 2013

In early 2012, Columbus-based housing organization Buckeye Community Hope Foundation, a nonprofit, secured enough money to renovate the Rieger Hotel at Jackson and West Market streets.

It’s an $8 million project, mostly funded through tax credits aimed to preserve an iconic structure and spur economic development downtown.

Scheduled for a late 2013 debut, developers want to sculpt the legendary property into a 37-unit complex for senior living.

The building’s first floor will likely include some office space, and perhaps retail and an eatery.

City officials recently finalized the loan and previously provided a decade-long tax break to streamline the process. The tax break should save at least $110,000 in taxes in 10 years.

“The project is financed largely with senior housing tax credits,” said the city’s financial consultant, Greg Sherman. “Without the tax credits, this project would not have worked financially. So we provided a small loan to help the company obtain over $5 million in tax credit financing.”

City officials provide these types of loans to encourage builders to improve infrastructure and facilities in low- or middle-income neighborhoods.

The loan ideally parlays into injecting additional income into an area while bolstering job opportunities, effectively turning an empty, decrepit property into something productive.

Today the Rieger is valued at almost $102,000, according to the Erie County auditor.

The most recent entity to operate inside the facility, about 20 years ago, was a nursing home. Before then, the 70,000-square-foot facility provided lodging to visitors. The Rieger was built in 1912.
Foundation workers said they want to make a long-term commitment in Sandusky.

Local studies concluded the area’s senior population, 65 and older, should boom from 18,000 today to about 26,000 in eight years, showing an obvious need for more senior housing.

“The redevelopment of the Rieger is going to be great in terms of serving the unmet needs of seniors who want to live downtown,” foundation vice president Roy Lowenstein said.




I take it their parking lot is the one across the street from this building? Which means these elderly people, if they have a car, will have to cross a street that is protected by only a flashing red light. Correct? I hope that once opened, the city has some plan in place for better protection for those who still drive and have to cross that street? Or are they to use the parking garage? Parking next to the building may not have sufficient space with the SR and others parking there during the day. Has anyone thought of this yet?


The Rieger development will be a great asset to Sandusky. This is a key stone property that has touched the life of many Sandusky residents.

Thank goodness that someone will finally develop this project.The project will provide housing to many seniors and will provide a decent home for Sandusky citizens. It will also spur retail development that will create jobs and activity downtown.

The City made a wise choice in supporting this project. The previous developer had the insight to preserve the project and obtain Historic Tax credits that made the project feasible. All propert taxes have been paid in full and the original developer obtained only partial reimbursement for his investment.

Had the city not supported this redevelopment it would have turned into another Keller building, a building that will be torn down at the City's expense instead of capitalizing on one of its historic assets.

The Federal and State Government, by awarding credits for redevelopment, Spatz, the City's Foundations and the City Management should be applauded & praised for sponsoring this redevelopment.

Sandusky is moving in the right direction