Credit Worthy News

From Votes to Vetoes: State HTC Bills That Ended at the Governor's Desk

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Monday, November 7, 2016

| Newark, New Jersey

Tomorrow, twelve state will be voting for new governors: Deleware, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. All but four of these states - Indiana, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Washington - have state historic tax credit programs. Just as the tax reform preferences of the to-be-determined president will shape federal programs like the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, these governors will be the influential in the shaping of state historic tax credits whether they are already in place or proposed. And it seems governors are not always a friend to programs that may have overwhelming bi-partisan support for reasons that range from personal to budgetary.  

In the October edition of the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits, we examined efforts for historic tax credit programs in California and New Jersey that fell short of a governor's signature after passing in other state legislative branches. 

Read the article: Historic Tax Credits and the Gubernatorial Veto

Topics: state policy

NH&RA Awards Five Timmys to MHA Projects

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Thursday, November 3, 2016

Yesterday in Boston, the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA) presented nine prestigious “Timmy” Awards. This is the 11th year of the program that honors the memory of Boston architect, educator and preservation advocate, Timothy J. Anderson and acknowledges outstanding real estate projects that transform older, historic buildings into new uses with historic tax credits.

Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists, and especially to the project teams of which we had the honor of being part of.


Best Commercial/Retail/Non-Residential Project

Location: Chicago, IL

Developer: The Stony Group, LLC
Architect: Fitzgerald Associates Architects
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC



Best Historic Rehab Utilizing LIHTCs – Small

The Lofts at NoDa Mills
Location: Charlotte, NC
Developer: The Community Builders
Architect: Shook Kelley, Inc.
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC

*Also a finalist for Judges’ Award: Best Historic Mill or Factory Rehabilitation



Best Market Rate/Mixed-Income Residential

ARC at Old Colony
Location: Chicago, IL
Developer: MCJ Development and CA Ventures
Architect: Pappageorge Haymes Partners
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC



Judges' Award: Best Historic Mill or Factory Rehabilitation

A-Mill Artist Lofts
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Developer: Dominium
Architect: BKV Group
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC

*Also a finalist for 
Best Historic Rehab Utilizing LIHTCs - Large

1_A-Mill_Impact Image.jpg


Judges’ Award: Achievement in Sustainability

Monsenor Romero Apartments
Location: Washington, DC

Developer: NHT Enterprise
Architect: Wiencek & Associates
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC



FINALIST | Best Market Rate/Mixed-Income Residential

Edge at Union Station
Location: Worcester, MA
Developer: Vision Properties
Architect: Benoit Design Group
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC



FINALIST | Judges’ Award: Most Innovative Adaptive Reuse

Nichols Tower at Homan Square
Location: Chicago, IL
Developer: Foundation for Homan Square
Architect: Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC




Topics: Awards, NH&RA

The Historic Advisor | Fall 2016

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Wednesday, November 2, 2016


Inside the issue

Working_2016Q3_banner.jpg  ProjectSuccess_2016Q3_banner.jpg  Awards_2016Q3_banner.jpg


Topics: The Historic Advisor

Commercial Business District Office Towers Can Benefit From Historic Tax Credits

Posted by Bill MacRostie on Thursday, October 27, 2016

Since industrialization, urban centers across the country have been building up. Early multi-story masonry buildings gave way to glass and steel skyscrapers to create the skylines that have become iconic for many cities. In the 1920s and 1930s, technology and design collided to create the International Style of building that became the prevalent blueprint for modern construction for many decades.

But what is to be done about the millions of square feet that have been left vacant and obsolete when businesses abandon these towers for new facilities or more convenient locations?

One option is to rehabilitate them using historic tax credits. Because of the modern forms that many of these buildings take, it is easy to forget that they may in fact be eligible for these valuable tax incentives. In order to be eligible for the federal 20 percent historic rehabilitation tax credit for income-producing properties, the building must at least meet the following criteria:

  • Be 50 years or older;
  • Be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places either individually or as part of a district;
  • Meet the basis requirements for rehabilitation.

(For a full explinataion of eligibility requirements, click here.)

A quick translation of these requirements means that buildings built before 1967 that have historic significance either architecturally or culturally – which is often an easy case to make for these imposing buildings – and require a large scale make-over are ideal candidates for the federal program, and in many cases state programs as well.

With the recent move towards less traditional office spaces in industrial warehouses and even digital conference rooms, developers must be creative in vision for the reuse of commercial business district office towers. In many cases, these buildings are being converted into apartments, condominiums, and hotels as Millennials and Baby Boomers make the move back to urban areas. These uses are also in keeping with the standards that must be adhered to for rehabilitation and successful historic tax credit projects as often the layout of offices and corridors can be retained in order to create dwelling units.

MHA has provided historic consulting services on the rehabilitation of historic commercial business towers in many cities around the country:

Alto 211 | Dallas, TX
Mixed Use

Ames Boston Hotel | Boston, MA

The New York EDITIONS | New York, NY

Inland Steel Building | Chicago, IL

Rehabilitation projects of this size require a tremendous amount of oversight in order to successfully qualify for rehabilitation credits, but they prove time and time again to be marketable and successful for developers who take the risk. It is only a bonus that they help to protect historic skylines, and in many cases improve them.

Contact us if you’d like to know more about our work with commercial business district office tower rehabilitations.

Topics: Office, Urban, Commercial, Mid-Century

Landmarks Illinois Celebrates Stony Island Arts Bank

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Thursday, October 20, 2016

Over the weekend, Stony Island Arts Bank was honored at Landmarks Illinois’ 2016 Richard. H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards. This program is designed to recognize “extraordinary stories of people saving special places throughout the state and show how historic restoration has a positive impact on communities, the environment and the people of Illinois.”

Stony Island Arts Bank is the recipient of this year’s Rehabilitation Award. In addition to its role in the community as a gathering and education space, Stony Island is an example of excellent rehabilitation effort and creativity to repurpose the building for a new use. The transformation of the badly water-damaged west offices into a two-story library housing the collections of the Johnson Publishing Company (publishers of Ebony and Jet Magazine) and the basement, submerged in water for several years, were notable to the panel of judges.

8_StonyIsland_AFTERBankingHall_creditMHA.jpg| Banking Hall

| 2nd Floor Office

| West Offices

| Basement

In addition to the physical rehabilitation of the building, the award is an acknowledgement of the impact that artist Theaster Gates, developer of the project, and the Rebuild Foundation have had on Chicago’s South Side with their “pioneering approach to community revitalization.”

Congratulations yet again to this well-deserving rehabilitation and historic tax credit project that we are honored to be a part of.

Topics: MHA Midwest, Awards