Years of uncertainty surrounding the future of the Carlisle building can be put away as the Adena Health System and the Chesler Group put the pen to paper, Thursday.

The 15-year lease agreement signed puts into motion the $7-million restoration project. Once fully restored, the Carlisle building will be occupied 100 percent by Adena: the first floor will be utilized for community-focused business operations and the upper floors will function as around 32 apartments for physician residents and medical students, said Adena President and CEO Mark Shuter.  

“By locating dozens of young professionals in downtown apartments, and employees in first-floor offices, Adena can help generate future economic development, bringing in dollars and creating jobs,” said Shuter. 

He added the agreement was attractive since it offers the hope of revitalization for the city of Chillicothe. 

"This project could have been elsewhere," said Shuter, "but the right thing to do was to do it downtown."

Michael Chesler, of The Chesler Group, said he hopes to close on the building within two months, start renovations in late April, and have the project completed before the end of 2015. 

Built in 1885 and then destroyed by arson in 2003, the historic Carlisle building was compared to the mythical Phoenix: “It was blighted, it was damaged, it was hurt, the community was hurt by it, and now we've got our Phoenix," said Chillicothe City Council Member Nancy Ames. "It's rising back to greater glory."