Historic Tax Credits News Briefs - January 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Maryland Department of Planning issued final rules for the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit program. The definition of a qualifying structure now includes "high performance buildings" that meet or exceed LEED's gold certification standards. The final rules also establish procedures for certification of historic structures and historic structure rehabilitations; administrative review; and general provisions for determining disqualifying work. Enacted in June as a successor to the Heritage Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit program, the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit program authorizes $10 million in tax credits for fiscal year 2011 and expands the credit's scope to include rehabilitation projects implementing sustainable building methods. See the full text of the final rules in the September 24 Maryland Register notice.

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The Arlington Housing Corporation (AHC) purchased three adjoining historic apartment buildings in Arlington, Mass. and will renovate and convert them to affordable housing units. AHC said the buildings are the oldest examples of a multifamily housing type that became prevalent in the area during the course of the 20th century. The $9 million Capital Square Apartments rehabilitation project will restore the early 20th-century structures through federal and state historic tax credit (HTC) financing. Studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments will be available when the rehabilitation is complete. AHC will employ green building techniques to create a more efficient building envelope and utility system, and include Energy Star appliances, water conservation measures and drought-resistant vegetation.

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MacRostie Historic Advisors welcomed two new staff members to its northeast office. Richard Sidebottom, associate, provided historic preservation consulting on a range of preservation documentation and HTC projects prior to joining MacRostie. His most recent projects include the Charleston Naval Hospital Historic District National Register nomination and the federal HTC application for a building in that district. Roysin Bennett Younkin also recently joined the northeast office, as an affiliate. An architectural historian with experience preparing National Register nominations and landmark designation reports, she worked with the Boston Landmark Commission before joining MacRostie. In another announcement, the company said its northeast office has relocated from Cambridge, Mass. to Boston. MacRostie Historic Advisors' new address is 263 Summer Street, Sixth Floor, Boston, Mass. 02210.

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) announced eight grant winners through New York City's Robert and Elizabeth Jeffe Preservation Fund. Recipients range from not-for-profit organizations to government agencies that will use the money to safeguard the city's historic places. The grantees are: Bartow-Pell Landmark Fund; Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Louis Armstrong House Museum; Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts; New York Landmarks Conservancy Inc.; Two Bridges Neighborhood Council; the World Monuments Fund; and the Free Synagogue of Flushing. The next deadline to apply for funding is February 1. Further information about the Robert and Elizabeth Jeffe Preservation Fund is available at www.preservationnation.org.

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A $13 million redevelopment of a state hospital building to provide affordable housing units Traverse City, Mich. will be completed in August, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported. The 39-unit project, called 630 Lofts, will take up 40,000-square-feet of Building 50 at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, a redevelopment that has received an $8 million federal low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) allocation and $4 million in state HTCs. The units are available to households with incomes ranging from 45 to 50 percent of the area median income, and four units will be set aside for special needs residents. Monthly rents for the studio, one- and two-bedroom units will range from approximately $500 to $700.

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Dominium Development plans to build 70 loft apartments with artist studio space in St. Louis, Mo.'s Metropolitan Building in the Grand Center Arts District. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the $25 million project's financing package will include $18 million in state and federal LIHTCs, HTCs and state brownfields tax credits. Dominium estimates that the project will be complete in March 2012.

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