Historic Buildings or Economic Opportunities?

West Virginia has an abundance of historic buildings that aren’t meeting their economic potential.

The state has 92 registered historic districts categorized as either commercial or mixed-use. That means that these districts include the income-producing properties that are eligible for the proposed increased historic rehabilitation tax credit of 25%.

In these 92 registered historic districts, there are 14,805 contributing buildings.

To put that in perspective, 87 buildings were redeveloped from 2002 to 2015 using the current 10% tax credit. That’s less than 1% of the buildings in West Virginia’s commercial and mixed-use historic districts.

These historic districts are assets waiting to be leveraged.

The beauty is that these assets are found in almost every area of the state. Seventy-three cities and towns have one or more mixed-use or commercial registered historic districts.

With the current 10% tax credit, developers have rehabilitated buildings in only 25 of these 73 communities:

Ashland Gerradstown Morgantown Thomas
Charles Town Harpers Ferry Old Fields Wardensville
Charleston Hillsboro Parkersburg Weirton
Clendenin Hinton Princeton Wheeling
Elkins Huntington Ronceverte
Fairmont Lewisburg Shepherdstown
Fayetteville Martinsburg Spencer

This means that 48 communities are missing out:

Alderson Clarksburg Mount Hope Shinnston
Arthurdale Dailey Nellis Sistersville
Aurora Darkesville New Martinsville Sophia
Barboursville Grafton Pence Springs St. Albans
Beckley Harrisville Philippi Sutton
Berkeley Springs Hedgesville Point Pleasant Sweet Springs
Bethany Kingwood Pratt Union
Beverly Mannington Ravenswood Welch
Bluefield Matewan Richwood Wellsburg
Bramwell Middlebourne Ripley West Union
Buckhannon Moorefield Rowlesburg Weston
Buffalo Moundsville Salem Williamson

With an increase in the West Virginia Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit to 25%, the remaining 48 communities will have a higher likelihood of attracting private investment and harnessing the economic potential of their historic districts.

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