Loveland City Council members voted unanimously to approve a redevelopment plan.

A rendering of the slated Cleveland Station redevelopment project at Cleveland Avenue and Fifth Street in Loveland shows storefronts and an outdoor seating area on the property’s southeast corner. A tax increment financing plan for the project was given a green light by the Loveland City Council on Tuesday. (Greg Fair) January 21, 2021, at 9:16 p.m.

Loveland City Council members voted unanimously to approve a redevelopment and tax increment financing plan for a historic property southeast of Cleveland Avenue and Fifth Street this week.

The developer, Love 450, would be reimbursed up to $800,000 for widening sidewalks, improving building facades, putting up public art installations and making other public improvements at “Cleveland Station,” costing about $1.61 million altogether.

The entire redevelopment is slated to cost around $4.74 million and would transform the building — once home to the Reporter-Herald and later a Banner Health clinic and thrift store — into a collection of nine storefronts for small entrepreneurs.

Funding would come from TIF-backed loans secured by the Loveland Downtown Development Authority, and director Sean Hawkins told council members that the entity expects to spend $1.05 million out of $5 million in diverted property and sales tax over 15 years to reimburse the developer, including debt service.

Property owner Greg Fair called the project a “labor of love” and represented the developer during Tuesday’s council meeting. He later said he expected crews will start working on building facades either next week or the following week.

“And with the DDA’s support and the TIF financing aspect, the $800,000 is allowing this project to be developed at a much higher level,” he said. “We’ll have better tenants, and we’ll have a more beautiful building, so everyone wins.”

Cleveland Station has already confirmed three tenants — Boutique by Sonja on the structure’s west side, Tom Davis Saloon on the northwest corner and also the Radial Development Group coworking space.

Hawkins also promoted the project to council members, bringing up how the restored brick and other architectural elements including cornices, awnings, transoms and windows would present a more attractive image of Loveland to the “thousands” of cars that pass each day.

“I think this really beautiful addition is going to show people that things are changing in our downtown district,” he said.

Also mentioned by Hawkins are the fact that the property has stood vacant since 2015 and that it would serve as a link between Fifth Street to the north and Fourth Street to the south.

Council members stressed how the $800,000 reimbursement — $300,000 of which would be paid following facade completion, with the rest paid out at the time of buildout no later than Dec. 31 — would come from new tax dollars generated by the development itself.

“Not one dollar of existing tax dollars is being used for this,” councilor John Fogle of Ward III said.

In response to a question by Mayor Jacki Marsh, Hawkins said the property was forecast to generate an additional $200,000 in tax revenue each year on top of a starting figure of $100,000, and that a successful restaurant on one of the building’s corners could generate about $60,000 alone.

Ward II councilor Andrea Samson said she was glad the developer considered the Loveland’s Heart Improvement Program in their improvements — the city’s plan for downtown infrastructure improvements includes wider sidewalks, additional and, controversially, parallel parking.

The developer’s plans would reduce parking on the property’s north side by trading seven angled spaces for four parallel spaces.

Samson also thanked the developer for mentioning the $3,000 to be spent on a wheelchair ramp as part of the public improvements to comply with accessibility rules.

“I’m extra excited about this project because it addresses the HIP Streets piece,” Samson said. “It seems like you have a good finger on the pulse of our city.”

The council voted 8-0 to approve the plan on their first and only reading. Ward I councilor Rob Molloy recused himself from the vote Tuesday.