By Posted in - Competitiveness & Preservation & Work on July 9th, 2015 0 Comments

We Have Exciting News

The Designing Local team, along with Benjamin D. Rickey & Company, is celebrating with Day Companies on their award of Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits from the May 2015 round. Day Companies contracted with us to research, write, and assist in crafting competitive applications to receive up to a 25% State and 20% Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits for long derelict Madison’s Department Store, White-Haines Buildings, and the One East Gay Building near the intersection of Gay Street and High Street in Downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Plastered-over and neglected for decades, Gay and High Streets will soon come alive.

Neglected for decades, Gay and High Streets will soon come alive.

Standing as vacant and blighted for years in the center of Downtown Columbus, these buildings will soon return to vibrant, mixed-use buildings. The successful applications for tax credits in a program administered by the Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO) and Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) will allow for construction to begin immediately.

The rear of the buildings await magnificence.

The rear of the buildings await magnificence.

What Are Historic Preservation Tax Credits?                                                               

State and Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits provide strong financial incentives to encourage developers to take on the rehabilitation of important historic buildings that might otherwise not be financially feasible. Up to 45% of the cost of rehabilitation can be covered by combining these programs. Ohio’s Historic Tax Credit Program, in place since 2006, has been responsible for transforming important buildings in downtowns and other historic areas throughout the state. The tax credits are as much of an economic development tool as a preservation tool, often encouraging investment in depressed or dis-invested areas.

High ceilings and grand spaces await new uses.

High ceilings and grand spaces are poised for new uses.

Our Role as Historic Tax Credit Consultants

As the consultant on both State and Federal Historic Tax Credits, our role is to ensure that our clients’ projects are certified at both the state and federal level. We serve as the liaison with the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and National Parks Service (NPS), and, as both an advocate and adviser to the development and architecture teams on the subtleties of the tax credit programs. We assist our clients in receiving the benefits of the tax credit in order to ensure a successful and financially feasible project.

Looking over the architectural details that will be restored.

Looking over the architectural details that will be restored.

It Takes a Village

On the Madison’s, White Haines, and One East Gay project, Designing Local and Benjamin D. Rickey and Company worked with the Ohio Historic Preservation Office, the National Park Service, Meyers Architects and the Day Companies to ensure that the buildings will be redeveloped in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Additionally the team advised on strategies that enhanced a competitive application that would receive the Ohio Historic Tax Credit. Selections from the competitive process for the State credit are made by the Ohio Development Services Agency and based on a tally of points, some of which can be improved by strategic modifications to the application.

These halls will soon become showplaces again.

These halls will soon become showplaces again.

Why We Love Historic Tax Credit Work

We see tax credit consulting as a big picture tool. The Ohio credits bring in far more tax revenue to Ohio than they spend. They also preserve the history and heritage of our cities, both large and small. In turn, the construction and renewed vibrancy of these buildings inject economic vitality into areas that often need it the most. Historic tax credit programs (both State and Federal) are essential. Private-sector development would, in many cases, be economically infeasible without incentives. The alternative would often be the loss of beautiful, meaningful buildings that residents and visitors love. The incentives, in the form of tax credits, make these expensive rehab projects desirable. Many completed projects (success stories) throughout the state showcase the power of tax credit programs (such as the Leveque Tower and Atlas Building – prominent landmark buildings in Downtown Columbus).

Our “Historic” Backgrounds

It was a natural fit to enter into Historic Tax Credit consulting due to our backgrounds in and love of historic preservation planning. Josh Lapp currently serves as a commissioner on the Italian Village Historic District Commission, reviewing development proposals for Columbus, Ohio’s Italian Village neighborhood in the Short North area. Amanda Golden and Josh are currently working on an Historic Preservation Plan for Mansfield, Ohio, as well as a strategies for rejuvenating Roscoe Village, a historic canal town and tourist destination in Coshocton, Ohio.

Our Mentors

Jeff Darbee and Nancy Recchie, principals and owners of the renowned historic preservation firm Benjamin D. Rickey & Company have partnered with Designing Local and have begun to share their extensive historic preservation and tax credit knowledge with the Designing Local team. Throughout the past year, Nancy and Jeff have mentored/partnered with us on multiple projects including four historic tax credit applications and a number of other preservation projects. As they have set themselves on the path toward semi-retirement they have taught us the nuances of the state and Federal application processes and introduced us to the ins and outs of the necessary, detailed historic preservation research. We have been very privileged to have Jeff and Nancy as mentors and partners in business and are indebted to them for having such faith in our work.


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