Friday, October 12, 2012

Thank You For Your Interest

Recently Preservation Studios received a letter from an individual who was clearly upset.

Unfortunately, it appears that the sender had us confused with someone else. At least, that was our impression, because he did not seem to understand what we do at Preservation Studios. We decided to write a reply, not only for "Cubicle Man," but for others confused about Historic Tax Credits and what our firm actually does.

Dear Cubicle Man,

While we want to thank you for your interest in our company, it is clear you have some misconceptions about the kind of work being done at our office.

Now it is true that we specialize in a variety of services, but we tend to not chain ourselves to buildings during business hours. Instead, we focus on the reuse portion of preservation, securing National Register nominations, and helping find investors to rehabilitate historic buildings through state and federal Historic Tax Credits.

Have you heard about the Historic Tax Credit program? Facilitated by the National Park Service, the program offers a 20% federal tax credit for certain historic, income producing, rehabilitation projects, as well as a 10% credit for other non-historic properties of a certain age. Often, as in the case of New York State, additional tax credits can be secured, bringing the total tax-credit incentive up to 40% for investment.

Just last month, we secured a National Register nomination for 64 Webster in Tonawanda, making it eligible for the tax credit program. Currently, we're working with several developers and investors to do the same for 500 Seneca here in Buffalo, as part of its $35 million rehabilitation. Over the last few years Preservation Studios has assisted in over 40 similar projects.

You may still be skeptical about the effectiveness of tax-credits, but let us assure you this is an incredibly successful program. Rutgers University has published several studies over the years noting the benefits of historic tax credits, but we're sure you're a busy individual, so let us summarize a few. For the years 2009-2010, HTC-Financed transactions created an estimated 145,100 jobs, generating $6.2 billion in earned income and $8.4 billion in gross domestic product. The program created over 55,000 jobs last year, and an estimated 2 million since 1981.

If we can't convince you about historic tax credits, then there is no way we'll convince you that these buildings are important, despite being listed in a Forbes article as one of Buffalo's best features. Last year, our historic city was highlighted when it hosted a record 2,500 attendees for the 2011 National Preservation Conference.

The historic buildings are just one distinctive feature of a city that was ranked #2 on a list of Best Places to relocate, and are actually centerpieces to some of the Buffalo's most recent revitalization projects. We're even reclaiming some of our lost historic places: the development of the inner harbor resulted in an amazing venue for concerts throughout the summer, and even more projects and events are planned for the future.

Cubicle Man, I hope we have cleared up a little of your confusion. "Preservation" may be in our name, but as a full-service consulting firm we are involved in many parts of the preservation process, which I hope you now see actually benefits Buffalo, a city we are quite fond of here.

Preservation Studios

PS: It should be noted that we are an LLC, not an organization, so no need to laughably call us that at all.

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