Historic Tax Credits News Briefs - December 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

On Oct. 22, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals denied Historic Boardwalk Hall LLC’s (HBH’s) petition for a rehearing or rehearing en banc of its Aug. 27 panel opinion. The denial of a rehearing reaffirms the court’s decision to deny HBH investor Pitney Bowes rehabilitation tax credits for a lack of meaningful stake in the project’s success or failure. The Oct. 10 petition filed by HBH argued that the appeals court decision in August did not give proper deference to the trial judge’s findings that it went against precedence. The petition also argued that the panel erroneously considered historic rehabilitation tax credits (HTCs) as repayment of capital from a partnership to a partner and that its risk analysis wrongfully treated the tax credits as property that can be sold or transferred. More information is available at www.historictaxcredits.com.

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The Irish Pub Company, originally established by Guinness, will remodel an 1890 livery stable into The Celtic Cowboy, an Irish pub and restaurant in the historic railroad district of downtown Great Falls, Mont. The $3.5 million project will be financed in part by HTCs and will be housed in the same building as a boutique hotel and an extended-stay hotel. The 4,500-square-foot Celtic Cowboy plans to offer traditional Irish cuisine with a regional and organic twist, such as shepherd’s pie with bison. The pub’s name is the nickname of 19th-century Montana pioneer, Robert Vaughn, who was the original owner of the building. It is expected to open late spring 2013.

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St. Luke’s Manor in Cleveland, Ohio was one of 22 recipients of the 2012 National Trust/Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. Presented by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the award recognizes excellence in historic preservation, affordable housing and economic development for low- and moderate-income residents. St. Luke’s Manor opened as St. Luke’s Hospital in 1927 and was the heart of Cleveland’s Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood for the first half of the 20th century. As more families moved to the suburbs in the latter half of the century, the hospital deteriorated and was abandoned for 12 years. Owners Neighborhood Progress Inc. eventually partnered with Pennrose Properties LLC and turned the property into affordable rental housing for seniors and office space for local nonprofits. Residential units feature high ceilings, modern appliances, walk-in closets and ceramic-tiled baths. Community amenities include on-site laundry facilities, a community room, a computer lab, a fitness center, a billiard room and a media room. Financing for the rehabilitation came from low-income housing tax credits, federal and state HTCs, the city of Cleveland, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, the Ohio Department of Development, Enterprise Community Investment and PNC Bank. The award was presented at the National Preservation Awards ceremony in Spokane, Wash. on Nov. 2.

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The century-old Manchester post office in Richmond, Va. found its first commercial tenant since Property Results used HTCs and a tax abatement to restore the building in 2010. Construction management firm Barton Marlow will lease about 3,000 square feet of the 17,000-square-foot Georgian-revival building, which was built in 1910 and was at different times a post office and police precinct. The office space is expected to be ready for Barton Marlow to move in by early 2013.

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The Grand Hotel in downtown New Ulm, Minn. was given to the nonprofit Grand Center for Arts and Culture (GCAC) by descendants of the original builder, Phillip H. Gross. GCAC partnered with Citizens Bank of Minnesota to qualify for state and federal HTCs totaling $455,000. Funds will be used to develop the building into an arts and cultural center. Development will include adding three stories to the existing structure and an elevator to service all four floors. The completed building will feature live performance space on the first floor, artist studios, a community gallery, music lesson space, a recording studio, arts and cultural education space and space for the healing arts, such as yoga. Gross originally built the Grand Hotel in 1856 and rebuilt it twice on the same site. The current building dates from 1875 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The $2 million development project is expected to be completed in fall 2013.

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