Advocacy Alert: Proposed tax credit act needs your support!

To the excitement of preservationists across the country, the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act (HR 3846) was introduced Wednesday, October 28. So why the excitement? For starters, HR 3846 offers the following tax credit improvements:

1) Small deals (less than $2.5 million in qualified rehabilitation expenditures) would see the eligible credit jump from 20% to 30%.
2) Transfer of credits as a tax certificate could give owners of smaller projects greater flexibility to bring in investors, and make capital easier to access.
3) Substantial rehabilitation (the threshold for becoming eligible to take advantage of the credits) would drop to 50% of the adjusted basis from the current 100%.

Add in better treatment of state tax credits when it comes to federal taxation, and other improvements, and you can begin to see how these changes, if passed, could inject a wave of new investment for countless small project rehabs.

Here in Ohio, we have Representative Pat Tiberi, and Representative Mike Turner to thank for helping lead the way as original co-sponsors of the bill, but we’re reaching out to you today, to encourage you to contact your representative, to ask him or her to sign on as co-sponsors for HR 3846 (or to thank Reps Tiberi and Turner for their support). You can find your representative here.

Check out this one-pager from the Trust, which summarizes the bill and how it improves the current federal historic tax credit.

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Available for redevelopment: The Xenia Carnegie Library

The historic Xenia Carnegie Library, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in February of 2015, is available for redevelopment. The building is eligible for rehabilitation tax incentives.

The Classical Revival-style two story building is located in a mainly residential neighborhood with a mix of 19th and 20th century homes. The building retains a high degree of interior and exterior ornament. Although vacant for more than 20 years the building appears to remain structurally sound.

Interested inquiries may be directed to the Greene County Commissioners at 937.562.5022.

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Have you checked out the Building Technology Heritage Library?

When it comes to historic preservation weaknesses, I have a few (ie, many). And right up at the top of the list are plan books. These historical publications may have covered contemporary house plans, painting palettes, or more esoteric subjects such as cast iron storefronts. As an example, Sears was going all out during the first half of the 20th century, hawking their “Honor-Bilt” homes in their ubiquitous catalogs.

I love perusing these plan books because they provide great insight on what people were building or using, and can provide good rehabilitation inspiration. So, you can imagine my excitement at being reminded about the Building Technology Heritage Library, the multi-year project from the Association for Preservation Technology to digitize these resources and make them available through the Internet Archive. Now, all you need is an internet connection to review the Sears 1936 catalog (go ahead, see what Sears had to offer here) and literally thousands more. Happy online reading!

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For sale: The Gilbert’s Building in downtown Ashland

View the MLS listing here.

The Gilbert’s Building, the former furniture store in downtown Ashland and an anchor of the community for over 100 years, is for sale, after much rehabilitation by the current owner. At three stories and a basement, with over 43,000 square feet of space, the current owner has completely rehabilitated the first floor, including all electric. The first floor is completely rented to tenants with long-term contracts.

The Gilbert’s Building is a landmark building in downtown Ashland. It served Ashland as a hotel (and funeral home) for over 50 years, and as a furniture store for over 100 years. The hotel hosted both President McKinley and President Garfield for overnight stays. The building is located within the Downtown Ashland Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places, making it eligible for rehabilitation tax incentives.

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Circleville Dollars and Sense of Building Rehabilitation Workshop

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Lakewood Alive leads restoration process for 1446 Mars Avenue home

While the majority of our Ohio Main Street Programs devote 100% of their time to improving their respective downtowns, some programs have begun dipping their toes into the residential revitalization pool. Main Street Wooster helped make the Howey Houses project a reality, and Main Street Medina recently completed its Renew Medina project to give new life to a neglected residence adjacent to the downtown.

Now, Lakewood Alive has teamed with Detroit Shoreway to rehab a former boarding house back into a single-family home. You can learn more about the home’s happy outcome here (and make sure you check out the Before/After image gallery at the bottom of the post).

Although downtown revitalization programs have traditionally focused their resources solely on work to improve the business district, we’ve come to learn that the downtown’s health is more often than not inextricably tied to the health of the surrounding neighborhoods, including the residential neighborhoods that ring the downtown. Programs that have forged community partnerships, and that have the financial and human resources to take on these special projects, are finding that their mission-driven accomplishments sometimes happen outside of the downtown, as well as in the downtown.

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Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit saved!

Update (6/16/15): Senators have removed language applying a moratorium on the successful OHPTC program! Thank you! Your messages touting the economic power of the tax credit resonated loud and clear among the Ohio Senate.

Yesterday, the Ohio Senate proposed to eliminate the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit (OHPTC), with the possibly of transitioning it into a grant program several years from now.

This highly successful economic development program, without prior discussion, is in jeopardy of disappearing. Without the OHPTC Program, Ohio would not have had more than 1.4 billion dollars invested in the state, in the process rejuvenating countless abandoned or blighted buildings. The OHPTC promotes economic development at its finest: creating income-producing, taxpaying, and neighborhood-contributing buildings.

Since the program’s inception in 2007, the tax credit program’s investment statistics speak for themselves: 7 million square feet of redeveloped building space; 3,429 new housing units created; and an overall ROI of $6.70 for every dollar of tax credit generated.

To help save the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, we need you to do two things TODAY. Please email Senator Oelslager, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Peterson, Chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, and your Senator to tell them why this will be detrimental to Ohio’s economic growth.

Thank you for helping us to send the message about the tax credits where it’s needed most!

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Preservation Month Photo Contest | And the winner is…

Thank you to everyone who voted this year, and congratulations to Judith Khaner, this year’s winner!

Judith’s winning image features the interior of the Arcade, a Cleveland landmark revitalized for shops and hotel use in the early 2000s. As this year’s winner, Judith’s image will be featured on a future issue of Revitalize Ohio.

Whether entering our contest or voting for a winning entry, we hope you’ll join us next year for Preservation Month for our 2016 Photo Contest.

Here’s Judith’s winning entry:

The Arcade

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Preservation + Pints (Or Shots)

By Sarah Marsom

Craft breweries and distilleries have swept Ohio by storm. Many breweries are hoping to revitalize the state’s history as a beer capital, and many distilleries are using historical beverages to inspire their contemporary palates. Here are a few places you should try!

Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus (Columbus)—both a popular bar and eye catching building in Columbus. Elevator Brewery’s history dates back to 1897. Located in the Bott Brothers’ Billiards building, this contemporary bar thrives on its historical elements—the billiards tables from the 1800s, stained glass entry, tile floors, decorative ceilings, and a well preserved bar. The Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Columbia Building. You can go to www.elevatorbrewing.com for more information.

Image source: elevatorbrewing.com

Image source: elevatorbrewing.com

Rhinegeist (Cincinnati)—Rhinegeist means “ghost of the Rhine”, and bringing a ghost back to life is exactly what this beer company did! Located in the historic Over-the-Rhine brewery district, Rhinegeist is revitalizing the beer industry, which made the area thrive in the late 1800s. Prohibition put 38 breweries out of business and left countless German immigrants unemployed. In the recent past, developers have been revitalizing the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood; Rhinegeist has sparked new life into Christian Moerling Brewing Company’s old bottling plant. Want to learn more about the building’s history and Rhinegeist? Take one of their guided tours. You can learn more at www.rhinegeist.com.

Image source: rhinegeist.com

Image source: rhinegeist.com

*Cincinnati is also home to underground brewery tours! This town’s beer history is deep!

Homestead Beer Co (Licking County)—while the brewery is not in a historic building, Homestead Beer Co has its headquarters in the very historic community of Granville, and the name evokes wonderment of the original farm settlements, which created a thriving Licking County in the 1800s. Homestead Brewing does not use modern yeast strains, instead preferring yeast which could have been used by grandfathers of the past to brew. With brew names such as 1805, Five Points Irish, and Barnraiser, one knows the people behind Homestead use the past as inspiration to create contemporary drinks. Go to www.homesteadbeerco.com to learn more.

Image source: homesteadbeerco.com

Image source: homesteadbeerco.com

E.S. Distillery (outside Fremont)—located in a 120-year-old barn, the Ernesto Scarano distillery is worth a visit. This craft distillery is supposedly the smallest legal whiskey distillery in America. Www.esdistillery.com for more information.

What are some of your favorite bars, breweries, or distilleries in Ohio with historic elements?  Add your favorites to the list in the comments section below.




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Your Krogering can help support Heritage Ohio

Yes, you can shop and assist Heritage Ohio at the same time, and it’s easy to do. Once again, Heritage Ohio is a nonprofit partner in Kroger’s Community Rewards program. What does that mean? Quite simply, each shopping trip to Kroger means a small donation for Heritage Ohio. And those small donations really add up. In fact, we’ve received over $1,200 to date, from people doing their everyday shopping at Kroger!

We’d love to have you as part of our Kroger shopping army, benefiting Heritage Ohio with each purchase. It’s easy to set up your Kroger Plus Card to direct your Community Rewards to Heritage Ohio. Just go to www.krogercommunityrewards.com and click the “Sign-In” button (if you haven’t registered your Kroger card yet, you can also do that from their website).

Then, go to the Community Rewards heading, toward the bottom of the page, and enter Heritage Ohio to search for us (or enter our Community Rewards ID which is 81631). Once Heritage Ohio comes up, click on “Enroll” and you’ll be set for the year.

Now, with every head of lettuce or gallon of milk you buy, you’re helping us to save the places that matter, build community, and live better. Thank you!

You can learn more and sign up here. If you sign up, let us know, so we can give you a proper thanks!

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