Case Studies

Sandvick Architects Inc.

Innovative design concepts in historic preservation and adaptive reuse

For 26 years, the architectural firm of Sandvick Architects Inc. has been a well-respected authority in historic preservation architecture with an emphasis on creative adaptive reuse and innovative code compliance strategies. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Sandvick Architects is committed to assisting the revitalization of downtown and urban neighborhoods, encouraging reinvestment in and new uses for underutilized buildings.

Sandvick Architects Inc.

A strong presence in adaptive reuse

Since its founding by Jonathan Sandvick in 1990, Sandvick Architects has successfully practiced sustainable design by applying the principles of historic preservation and adaptive reuse in architectural, planning and advocacy services.

The firm is nationally renowned for its expertise in use of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit and has completed more historic tax credit projects than any other firm in Ohio. With more than 7,000 housing units completed in historic preservation and adaptive reuse, Sandvick Architects has achieved numerous recognitions and awards from local, state, and national preservation organizations. The company has won the highest award in the nation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation on four occasions.

Sandvick Architects has also been recognized for exceptional code expertise, particularly with the application of the International Building Code Compliance Alternatives for Existing Structures.

The firm has proudly developed code techniques to be historically sensitive and cost effective, while facilitating functional needs for end users. Simultaneously, the results achieve equal or greater levels of safety, as compared to conventional code approaches, and often with cost reductions for developers, while helping to realize historic tax credits.

With a broad range of clients, including private developers, community development corporations, local governments, universities and religious institutions, Sandvick Architects’ portfolio includes residential, hospitality, commercial, institutional and urban design projects.

Since Sandvick Architects’ inception, it has successfully assisted with the achievement of $1.7 billion in development.

Maintaining historic aesthetics

Sandvick Architects recently completed the master planning of a project converting the former Union Trust Co. building in Cleveland into a $300-million development project that will include 673 apartments, a 300-room hotel, office, business incubator, retail and event space. The 1.4 million-square-foot former bank building in Cleveland was built in 1924, but is now mostly vacant. Numerous challenges were presented to Sandvick Architects on the Union Trust project. “It is designed to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, so that has been a challenge in itself,” says Sandvick. “We also competed for a catalytic state historic tax credit with our master plan design, which we won.” This $25 million tax credit is awarded every two years. Sandvick Architects attained the prize for its client through its design and historic application. The Union Trust project was awarded to Sandvick Architects in late 2015 and will enter the first construction phase in early 2017.

Working in historic preservation and adaptive reuse, Sandvick Architects is not finished with a project once it enters the construction phase. With numerous adaptations and modifications needed to be implemented, the firm carries every job through until completion.

Another adaptive reuse project of Sandvick Architects that has entered the construction phase is the redevelopment of the Hercules Motor Company facility in downtown Canton, Ohio. The site encompasses over 26 acres and 610,000 square feet of vacant, formerly industrial property in approximately 29 interconnected warehouse-style buildings built between 1855 and 1945. The project involves a brownfield remediation and an adaptive reuse of historic structures consistent with smart- growth policies.

Upon completion, the Hercules project will feature hundreds of housing units, as well as office and retail space. With Sandvick’s assistance, the facility has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places and has received Part II approval from the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service, making the property eligible for both state and federal historic tax credits.

Additionally, Sandvick Architects has completed construction documents for the spectacular 20 story, terra-cotta clad Historic “Standard Building” ($80 million development) starting construction. When completed at the end of 2017, it will contain over 285 housing units converted from vacant office space.

The firm is now working on the original historic Heinz “57” food manufacturing plant in Pittsburgh. This is a large, multiple building, $150,000,000 development project of adaptive reuse for housing. To date, 5 buildings of the complex have been converted into 267 housing units with a 500-space indoor parking garage. A sixth building is in progress, now being converted to 151 housing units.

A legacy of industry dedication

Sandvick started his impactful career with pre-eminent design firm of Don M. Hisaka Architects. He then joined Planning Resources Inc., becoming the principal heading its architectural department. While at Planning Resources, Sandvick participated in numerous planning and urban design projects, as well as architectural facilities design.

In 1990, he established a new firm, where he was president and ultimately became sole principal in 1994, with the mission of assisting the revitalization of downtowns and city neighborhoods, encouraging reinvestment in existing building stock, finding new uses for underutilized buildings and promoting planning with preservation as a central initiative to restore community identity and viability.

Sandvick’s experience with and dedication to the advocacy of historic preservation and adaptive reuse reinforces the company’s success. He is involved with several industry organizations, serving as vice chairman of Heritage Ohio and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, a trustee of the Cleveland Restoration Society, and as a current trustee of the Historic Waterhouse District Development Corporation, where he previously served as vice chairman for 11 years.

As Sandvick Architects continues to focus on creating visually compelling, functional, cost effective and highly marketable spaces and uses in historic buildings, the firm will remain a leader in historic preservation and adaptive reuse through the application of creative, strategic and innovative design.

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Spring 2018

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