Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear Announces Funding for Housing Redevelopment Project in Springfield

Press Release Date:  Thursday, July 31, 2014  
Contact Information:  Terry Sebastian

$780,000 grant will help renovate historic Robertson Building into much-needed affordable housing

SPRINGFIELD, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear today announced funding for a new housing redevelopment project in the city of Springfield in Washington County.

Department for Local Government (DLG) Commissioner Tony Wilder joined local leaders at the announcement to present the $780,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to Springfield to renovate the city’s downtown Robertson Building into much-needed affordable housing. 

“Safe, quality housing is an important element to enhancing the value of any community,” said Gov. Beshear. “This project will revive an historic downtown building in Springfield and will provide several families in the area with the dependable, accessible homes they need.”

Springfield’s Robertson Building was originally constructed in the early 1900’s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building previously served as a commercial hub in downtown Springfield, but has set vacant now for several years. The CDBG funding will go toward renovating the empty, historic site to apartments for low-income households in the community. 

An independent housing market study conducted in July 2013 confirmed a high demand for low-income apartments in the city.

The city of Springfield, along with AU Associates Inc., will manage the Robertson Building rehabilitation project. The site will be converted to one area of commercial space and seven energy efficient apartments, including four one-bedroom units, two two-bedroom units and one handicapped-accessible two-bedroom unit. CDBG funds will only be utilized to renovate the housing portion of the building.

The project has received approval from the State Historic Preservation Office and is receiving $421,000 in combined Federal and State Historic Tax Credits. Additional funding for the project includes a $394,000 HOME Investment Partnership Program grant, $43,000 from the Springfield Tourism Commission for roofing, $8,000 from AU Associates Inc. and $100 in general partner equity. 

“This renovation is an important tool for the economic character of the Springfield central city,” said Sen. Tom Buford.  “This project conveys more prestige to an important historical district.  The project will have a positive effect on all property values in this historic district.”

“This is a landmark building for Springfield and it has a prominent location.  We are anxious to see it return to its glory with this proposed reuse and offer a debt of gratitude to those who have assisted us in making this a reality,” said Springfield Mayor John W. Cecconi.

“By transforming this important but neglected urban building with character into an asset that contributes to the heart of Springfield, we are preserving a place that tells the communities’ story and helps them understand Springfield’s rich history,” said Holly Wiedemann, President of AU Associates, Inc.

“Historic buildings are significant assets that play a valuable role in a community’s legacy, particularly when they are located in a revitalized area,” said DLG Commissioner Wilder. “Renovating the Robertson Building will promote continued renewal in downtown Springfield and preserve a significant piece of the community’s history.”

The state’s CDBG program is administered by DLG and funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Kentucky’s Congressional leaders’ continued support of the CDBG program ensures the availability of continued funding in Kentucky and nationally.