This past March the Elmwood East Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places. This listing recognizes the historical significance of the buildings located within the district, and that the structures are worthy of preservation. HoganWillig’s Buffalo office, located at 155 Summer Street, is located within this newly recognized Historic District.
The intent of the listing is to incentivize owners to rehab their structures with preservation in mind by providing access to federal and/or state income tax credits. For income producing properties both the federal and state programs allow a credit of 20% of the qualifying expenses of the rehabilitation. In order to qualify for the credit the rehabilitation must be substantial; the structure must be a contributing building to the historic district, and must be located in a census tract that is eligible to participate in the tax credit program. A project is substantial if the cost of the project is more than the pre-rehabilitation cost of the building. Examples of qualifying expenses are as follows:
- Windows and doors
- Components of central air conditioning or heating systems
- Plumbing and plumbing fixtures
- Escalators, elevators, sprinkler systems, fire escapes
- Other components related to the operation or maintenance of the building
In addition to the above costs, construction soft costs, such as construction period interest and taxes, architect fees, engineering fees, construction management fees, and developer fees, also qualify as expenses.
The listing on the National Register does not restrict what property owners can do to their properties that are now within the district. If a property owner wants to take advantage of the tax credits, the rehabilitation would need to be approved before any work is performed to ensure that it qualifies for the credits. However, if a property owner wants to make alterations to their property without applying for tax credits, the National Register listing does not prohibit them from doing so.