Quietly and without fanfare work has begun to re-purpose 390 Capitol Avenue (commonly known as the Hartford Office Supply Building) into apartments. This long abandoned block at the corner of Flower Street and Capitol Avenue sat sadly as a reminder of historic manufacturing buildings without a future. Times have changed, thankfully, and the excitement of living in Hartford has caused an economic argument for creating housing, of a larger scale, to be developed.
Dakota Partners has tackled the project with gusto. This developer has already completed many first class projects in New England and most recently 179 Allyn Street downtown. As Roberto Arista comments, principal of Dakota Partners, “it’s all about the light”. Historic manufacturing buildings are in fact all about the light. Take a look when driving along Capitol and view the original window openings and you will see just what is to happen as new, appropriate windows are installed.
Our role has been subtle yet demonstrates how the Preservation Alliance can act strategically to encourage developers to tackle major projects which will contribute to preserving the fabric of Hartford. Connecticut as well as Federal Historic Tax Credits are being utilized. These tax credits could then be sold to investors, which results in equity for the project developer but also a tax bill on the credits. In Connecticut legislation has been enacted which allows a transfer of the tax credits to a qualified not-for-profit such as the Preservation Alliance. We then sell the tax credits and then lend the proceeds back to the project. (Clear as mud?) The whole point is that more equity is contributed to the project making it more economically feasible. It is a total win for development and re-purposing of old buildings.
As the Preservation Alliance moves forward in new strategic directions, the use of tax transference is only one of the innovative ways for us to be a catalyst in creative activities which makes preservation happen. We want to make preservation easier for property owners. Please take time to amble through our website to find other resources. And by all means contact us with your questions or comments or if you need any assistance with your own historic project.