The Divine Lorraine Hotel, a 19th-century North Philadelphia building that had fallen into disrepair, has been rehabilitated into apartments and retail and restaurant space. Credit Mark Makela for The New York Times
In Philadelphia, losing the tax credit could have a devastating effect on efforts to defend the historic building stock, said Harris Steinberg, executive director of Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation and chairman of the new preservation task force. “It very well could lead to more demolition of unprotected historic fabric,” he said.
Source: As Construction Booms, Philadelphia Seeks to Preserve Its Past – The New York Times
But now the movement is being challenged. In February, US Representative Dave Camp of Michigan, who leads the House Ways and Means Committee, released a discussion draft of comprehensive tax reform that included a repeal of the federal historic tax credit, which preservationists say is crucial to continued development. Without the federal tax break and a similar one from the state, says David Listokin, a Rutgers professor of public policy, older buildings in mill towns like Lowell and Lawrence and in lower-income parts of Greater Boston like Everett and Chelsea would languish, just when these areas are beginning a turnaround led in large part by adaptive reuse. Condo and commercial construction in old warehouses — witness the Charleston Chew Lofts and Porter 156 — brings to struggling neighborhoods higher-income buyers, who then attract more small businesses and municipal improvements.
via Saving the planet, one old building at a time – Magazine – The Boston Globe.