In rehabilitating historic buildings, there are a variety of risks that are inherent in the process, ranging from financial and regulatory matters to the physical features of the structure itself. Taking the steps needed to qualify for and apply for tax credits can help lessen or mitigate some of these risks. However, in order to secure the tax credits, you must also know how to navigate the system.
Applying for the program under the guidance of a knowledgeable consultant, such as Quinn Evans Architects and others, can make a big difference in a project’s chances for approval. A consultant or architect knows the ins and outs of the program, and their in-depth expertise can help you leverage better design to maximize your chances of receiving tax credits.
In addition, a consultant who has expertise working with the Standards can literally walk the property with you before you even apply, letting you know which architectural features must remain in order to qualify, and which ones may be modified to meet programmatic or other goals.
The potential financers of a project also want to control their own risks, and one way they can do so is by making sure the development team knows what they’re doing. Potential funders are far more likely to finance the project if a knowledgeable architect and/tax credit consultant can write a letter assuring them that the work is on track to meet the Standards and be approved for historic tax credits. Such a letter gives the funder the assurance they need to release funds before the project is done, so that money flows more smoothly, avoiding delays due to financing.
The Knapp’s Centre in Lansing, Michigan is a good example of how a knowledgeable architectural firm can help address risks. The former J.W. Knapp’s Department Store is an iconic Art Deco structure, built in 1937, that was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.