Preserving the Past: Specialized Financing Options for Historic Commercial Properties

Apr 22, 2024

Preserving historic commercial properties is not only a way to honor the past but also a valuable investment in our cultural heritage. However, financing the preservation and restoration of these properties can be a complex endeavor. Fortunately, there are specialized financing options available to support the owners and developers of historic commercial properties.

Historic Tax Credits

One of the most common financing options for historic commercial properties is the use of historic tax credits. These credits are offered at the federal and state levels and provide a dollar-for-dollar reduction in income taxes for the rehabilitation of historic buildings. This can significantly offset the costs of restoration and preservation.

historic tax credits

Historic Preservation Grants

Another source of financing for historic commercial properties is historic preservation grants. These grants are often offered by government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private foundations to support the preservation of historic buildings. They can be used for a variety of purposes, including structural repairs, facade restoration, and accessibility improvements.

Historic Property Loans

For owners and developers looking to finance the acquisition or rehabilitation of historic commercial properties, there are specialized historic property loans available. These loans are designed to address the unique challenges of financing historic buildings, such as the need for specialized construction techniques and the potential for increased costs due to preservation requirements.

historic property loans

New Markets Tax Credits

New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) can also be utilized to finance the rehabilitation of historic commercial properties located in low-income communities. These tax credits attract private investment to support projects that contribute to the revitalization of economically distressed areas, making them a valuable tool for financing historic preservation in underserved communities.

Historic Property Easements

Owners of historic commercial properties can consider donating a historic property easement to a preservation organization or government agency. In exchange for the easement, the owner may be eligible for a charitable contribution deduction and potential income tax benefits. This can provide a source of financing while ensuring the long-term preservation of the property.

historic property easements

Preserving the past through the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic commercial properties is a rewarding endeavor that requires careful planning and access to specialized financing options. By leveraging historic tax credits, preservation grants, specialized loans, and other financial tools, owners and developers can ensure that these valuable pieces of our heritage continue to contribute to the cultural and economic vitality of our communities.