The Hidden Underlying Value of Historic Reuse
As Robert Verrier and Michael Binette report, communities across the country are using idle historic assets such as former state mental hospitals and turn-of-the-century manufacturing buildings as "the linchpin for upgrading and stabilizing areas and neighborhoods."
There are many creative funding solutions available to make such projects pencil out, including tax credits for historic preservation or affordable housing. "By creating affordable or market-rate housing and by stabilizing and upgrading neighborhoods while simultaneously preserving a piece of local history, development teams can often realize a raft of tax incentives to make startup viable. But beyond the startup phase, the project itself often proves to be the only incentive needed: Recapturing value from historic assets engages a community's history, people, and institutional memory. "