COLUMBUS—K&D Group’s $65 million project to redevelop the East Ohio office building here into an apartment tower received a boost Thursday, as the Ohio Development Services Agency announced state historic preservation awards for 23 properties throughout the state.

The state is providing $5 million to the Willoughby, Ohio-based K&D for the redevelopment. The 21-story tower was once the headquarters of the East Ohio Gas Co., and was built in 1959, but has been empty since 2009. The new plan is for 223 apartments at the building, located at 1717 E. Ninth Street in the downtown.

Most of the projects, which received a total of almost $40 million in state aid, are for new apartment complexes during a time when the property type is drawing great attention for high occupancy. These projects include the $21 million redevelopment of the former Baldwin Wallace University residence halls, the $12 million project to overhaul the Globe Machine and Stamping Co. property along Battery Park, the $21.5 million redevelopment of West 25th Street Lofts and the $15 million transformation plan of the Lux-Lofts Apartments in the Huffman Block/David Building.

“The Historic Preservation Tax Credit puts empty buildings back into the economic cycle, creating jobs through construction activities and reoccupation of the buildings,” said Christiane Schmenk, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “This program has saved some of the state’s most significant historic structures.”