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Posted on: December 4, 2020

Former Lehman High School Transformed into a Senior Living Community - Oxford Place

Oxford Place

Former Lehman High School Transformed into a Senior Living Community - Oxford Place


a.m. RODRIGUEZ ASSOCIATES inc., The City of Canton and East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation are excited to announce the closing on the financing for Oxford Place, which includes the adaptive reuse of the former John H. Lehman High School (ca. 1920) to accommodate sixty-two (62) affordable senior apartments offering a mix of efficiency, 1- and 2-br units.  The project has been closely coordinated with The City of Canton as one of their priority community revitalization projects.    Construction will begin this month and the estimated completion date is March 31, 2022. Approximately 300 construction workers will participate on this project.  A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for April 2021 at 1120 15th Street NW.


With the support of the City of Canton, Canton City Council and the benefit of low-income housing tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and state historic tax credits from the Ohio Development Services Agency, all 62 units will be affordable to people whose incomes do not exceed 80% of area median income (AMI). One third of the units has projected rents that will target those whose income is 50% or less of AMI, with 7 units affordable at 30% AMI, 8 of which are for mobility or sensory impaired residents.



a.m. RODRIGUEZ ASSOCIATES inc. will coordinate the development activities with RDL Architects to ensure that the buildings maintain the architectural integrity and amenities admired at existing properties within their portfolio.  


Oxford Place will be designed and built by an expert team of professionals with extensive experience in creating attractive, highly sustainable, affordable housing that include RDL Architects, an architectural firm based out of Cleveland, Tober Construction Company, a Richfield based general contractor, and Cleveland based Naylor Wellman historic consultants. These firms represent established professionals with significant experience in the award-winning adaptive reuse of historic buildings into housing, using Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and State Historic Tax Credit programs.  Financing sources are numerous and as follows:


Total Development Cost:                 $17,805,735

Construction Loan:                 $  9,900,000    The Huntington National Bank

Soft Loan:                               $     500,000    City of Canton HOME Funds

Soft Loan:                               $  1,000,000    City of Canton Municipal Funds

LIHTC Equity:                      $11,366,875      CREA Oxford Place, LLC – Tax Credit Equity 

State Historic Equity:              $  1,588,225    CREA Oxford Place, LLC – Tax Credit Equity 

Federal Historic Equity:          $  2,640,768    CREA Oxford Place, LLC – Tax Credit Equity

AHP Funds:                            $     590,000    Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati

Def. Developer Fee:                $     119,667     a.m. RODRIGUEZ ASSOCIATES inc.


Mayor Thomas M. Bernabei said “The Oxford Place project will transform the Lehman neighborhood.  It was a collaborative effort by many partners and I thank them all. We have worked on this with a.m. RODRIQUEZ for 4 years! Most importantly, this project could not have happened without the City’s contribution of Issue 13 Neighborhood funds. Thank you to the voters of Canton for passing Issue 13.”   


The Project and surrounding neighborhoods are located Wards 1 and 7 in Canton. Ward 7 Councilmember John Mariol said: “The Lehman development will have a monumental impact on the neighborhoods around Lehman school. Lehman will go from a negative blight in our neighborhoods to a positive force that we can all build off of. This is another example of Canton using Issue 13 dollars to carry out the Comprehensive Plan. The future just got a lot brighter.”

Ward 1 Councilmember Greg Hawk said: “We have been working for years on a good re-use for the historic Lehman High School Building. Oxford Place is going to be a great addition to the neighborhood. I couldn’t be more excited. Thank you to the voters of Canton for providing funding for this project through Issue 13.” 

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