Historic Tax Credits News Briefs - April 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The National Park Service (NPS) in February released its annual report on federal tax incentives for historic structure rehabilitation. The fiscal year 2009 report said that the NPS approved 1,044 new rehabilitation projects last year, representing a private investment of $4.69 billion, at a cost to the Treasury of less than $939 million in tax credits. Approved projects included textile mills, school complexes, farms, former military bases and a record 6,710 affordable housing units. Providing housing was the most common use of the program, followed by commercial and office development. The projects created a record number of 68 jobs per approved project for a nationwide total of 70,992. Visit the Historic Tax Credit Resource Center at www.historictaxcredits.com for more information about historic tax incentives.

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The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia announced in March the winners of the 2010 Preservation Achievement Awards. Receiving Grand Jury Awards are 21 restoration and revitalization projects, including a Quaker landmark, a ballroom, a department store converted into offices, and an office building turned into a boutique hotel. Special Recognition Award winners are Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust, recipient of the Board of Directors Award; Philadelphia councilman Bill Green, who will receive the Public Service Award; and Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Moe will receive the James Biddle Award for lifetime achievement in historic preservation. Moe said in a 2009 press release that he intends to retire sometime this spring. The awards will be presented at the 17th annual Preservation Achievement Awards luncheon on May 12 at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. Visit www.preservationalliance.com for a complete list of awardees and more information about the event.

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Four historic buildings have been redeveloped as residential units and commercial space on the site of the former Western State Hospital campus in Staunton, Va., according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The Villages at Staunton include three condominium buildings and an office building that were constructed in the 1800s. Miller & Associates, the developer, is four years into a 20-year plan to use historic tax credits to restore all 18 historic buildings on the site of the former mental health facility. The next phase of the developer's plan, according to the Times-Dispatch, includes a hotel that will encompass three of the buildings.

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Preservationists met last month as part of Historic Preservation Advocacy Week, March 1-5. The week combined three events: Preservation Action's Annual Lobby Day on Capitol Hill, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Offices Annual Meeting, and a National Historic Tax Credit Conference. The National Historic Tax Conference assembled historic tax credit stakeholders—public, private, and not-for-profit—to learn and network. Conference attendees discussed guidance and insider tips on topics surrounding the historic rehabilitation tax credit, including a roundtable on stabilizing the marketplace for historic tax credits; strategies gleaned from greening historic rehabilitation; sources of debt financing; and, updates on tax structuring, including a discussion of recent IRS audit activity.

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