Written by Erica Stewart
Today was a good day for fans of historic real estate development. This morning, the National Trust’s historic real estate investment subsidiary, the National Trust Community Investment Corporation (NTCIC) was awarded $29 28 million in New Markets Tax Credit authority by the CDFI Fund of the U.S. Treasury. This means that NTCIC can continue to utilize this tax credit to help finance the rehabilitation of vacant or underutilized historic buildings which bring essential jobs, tax revenue and goods and services to low-income neighborhoods.
Equally exciting was the fact that the announcement ceremony was held at the American Brewery building, a structure that underwent a $23 million historic rehabilitation that was financed in part by NTCIC’s $5.3 million historic and New Markets Tax Credit equity investment. Completed in 2009, the project converted a five story, Italianate-style brewhouse built in 1887 and that had stood vacant for thirty years into stunning program and office headquarters space for Humanim, Inc. Humanim is a 40 year old nonprofit organization that provides educational, vocational and clinical service programs for individuals with developmental, emotional, neurological and physical disabilities.
The rehabilitation generated significant tax revenues, construction jobs and household and business income in a severely underserved community: the neighborhood is part of a census tract with a 51% poverty rate and an unemployment rate more than four times the national average. Once completed, Humanin relocated its 250 employees to the American Brewery building and hired locally to fill an additional 40 jobs. Moreover, the return of the American Brewery building as a proud anchor for the neighborhood, where it had been an eyestore for so long, gives a tremendous boost to community pride and optimism that better times lie ahead.
NTCIC President John Leith-Tetrault expressed his enthusiasm for the project in his remarks at the ceremony, saying, “If you are in our business: demonstrating that historic buildings can play an important role in revitalizing low-income communities, it doesn’t get any better than this.”
Erica Stewart is the outreach coordinator for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Communications and Marketing department.
Updated 2/27/2011 to reflect correct allocation amount.