CUYAHOGA FALLS — City Council on Monday signed off on a 15-year tax break agreement with a company that is planning to spend $10.3 million to transform a downtown office building into a mixed-use site with 38 apartment units and 7,000 square feet of retail space.

Council approved granting the abatement to Legacy 2020 LLC in connection with the company’s plan to purchase the Falls Towne Centre building at 2020 Front St. and redevelop the 55,428-square-foot structure into a mixed-use facility.

The California-based development firm is owned by Marc Makebakken, a former Falls resident who is poised to purchase the  building from Falls Towne Centre, LTD for $4 million. The plan is to close on the transaction on May 19.

Makebakken said if other steps occur in his expected time frame, conversion of the building to residential/retail space should begin in January or February 2021.

Legacy 2020 LLC is planning to spend nearly $5.9 million on new construction, $264,110 on improvements, $150,000 on equipment and $30,000 on furniture and fixtures. The project will generate two permanent full-time jobs for Legacy 2020 LLC and more than 50 temporary construction jobs, according to Cuyahoga Falls Community Development Director Diana Colavecchio, who added that about 15 to 30 jobs would likely be brought in to the expected retail space.

Colavecchio said the city and Legacy 2020 LLC are defining this project as "new construction," a classification that allows the Ohio Development Services Agency to approve a 15-year tax exemption time frame. The tax break deal is "front-loaded and staggered" and averages out to a 50% abatement during the 15-year period, said Colavecchio.

Colavecchio emphasized there is not an abatement on the existing property taxes currently collected on the building. The office building is currently 20 to 25 percent occupied.

Before council approved the tax abatement, it amended the legislation to change the company name in the agreement from Nieuw World Capital Management LLC to Legacy 2020 LLC. Colavecchio said Legacy 2020 LLC is a separate firm formed by Makebakken that will own the Falls Towne Centre building.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.