Tax credit for historic restoration signed into law

July 30, 2009

From the Buffalo News

By Danny Yadron

Gov. David A. Paterson signed a tax credit for restoring historic buildings into law this afternoon, amid a throng of eager developers, relieved preservationists and numerous local leaders that packed the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society.

Under the law, co-sponsored by Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo, developers could cut up to $5 million from their tax bill for a commercial project and up to $50,000 for a residential project. The program is limited to economically distressed areas, and the buildings must be on the city, state or national registry of historic places.

Some 4,500 eligible projects sit within the Buffalo city limits, including landmarks such as the Statler Towers and the Central Terminal, Mayor Byron W. Brown said afterward.

Sen. William T. Stachowski, D-Lake View, who also spoke at the ceremony, said the program gives a lot of potential to upstate cities such as Buffalo. Stachowski noted that there were just as many developers in the crowd as preservationists.

"It will cost us a little up front," Stachowski said, "but give us so much more out the back side."

Grand Island builder Murray F. Gould said he plans to convert the long-abandoned South Junior High School in Niagara Falls into a 100,000-square-foot mixed-use building.

"It's a source of capital," said Gould, adding he will apply for one of the credits. "You can only borrow so much to make a project work. It's the last piece of financing."

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