In the past few years, several very important restorations of historic buildings have taken place in Oklahoma City. The 21c Museum Hotel, the Douglass apartments at Page Woodson and the Main Street Arcade were all possible due to historic tax credits – and may be the last renovations we see for some time if one version of the federal tax reform bill passes.
Historic tax credits provide financial assistance needed to reinvest in some of our most valuable buildings, while holding the developer accountable. Historic tax credits aren’t earned until the projects are complete, so there’s no risk involved.
Historic tax credits spur economic development. A 2016 economic impact study by Place Economics reports that Oklahoma’s rehabilitation tax credit attracted more than $520 million in investments and is directly responsible for the creation of more than 3,000 jobs statewide. The renovated structures reduce the crime and blight that often accompany abandoned buildings and increase property values and tax revenues.
Often, entire neighborhoods or districts are revitalized once these projects are completed. Areas in Oklahoma City such as Bricktown, Midtown, Film Row, west downtown, Uptown 23rd and others have experienced district-wide revitalization, spurred or amplified by early projects using historic tax credits.
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