Downtown Lima building to get new life with 'historic' designation

Apr. 8—LIMA — The City of Lima Historic Preservation Board on Thursday gave its stamp of approval to an application filed on behalf of Lima businessman John Heaphy to designate a building located at 147 S. Main Street as a historic structure.

Heaphy Harmony Real Estate LLC recently purchased the building that was built in 1927 and at one time housed the Blattner Department Store.

Speaking on behalf of John Heaphy at Thursday's meeting, Matt Kelty said the objective behind Heaphy's purchase of the building was to "preserve the structure and breathe new life into it" by bringing in numerous new businesses to set up shop inside the structure "that will be beneficial to the downtown area."

The renovation and development of the building will "serve to enhance other developments that are under way in the downtown area, including some that have not yet been made public," Kelty said.

He said the historic building "was built at the height of the Roaring 20s and was representative of the great energy that was present in downtown Lima at that time." Kelty said Heaphy hopes to recapture that feeling of excitement and opportunity with the new endeavor.

Board Chairman Bob Fitzgerald said the committee is "very familiar" with Heaphy's past successful ventures and added that "we applaud John for buying this building and revitalizing it."

The request for historic preservation designation for the structure will now be forwarded to Lima City Council, which must pass an ordinance confirming the historic designation. Such approval would allow Heaphy to apply for state tax credits for renovation work on the building.

According to the Allen County Auditor's website, former owners of the structure, located at the northwest corner of Main and Spring streets, include Patricia Fink, Gary and Laura Davidson, Lonnie Scarberry, Karla Lane and Main Street Mercantile LLC. The building is valued at $95,000.