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Gin Shop, Saint James Hotel among projects approved for state historic tax credit

By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Daniel Pratt Gin Shop in Prattville, the Saint James Hotel in Selma and the Protective Life Center in Birmingham are slated to be the next historic properties to see new life thanks to a state tax credit.

The Alabama Historical Commission released its rankings for the Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Tuesday, listing projects approved for a special tax credit offered to aging buildings that could be renovated for economic development.

Other major projects approved for tax credits include the Howell School in Dothan, Merchant’s National Bank in Mobile,  and the Family Services Laundry Building in Birmingham.

The total amount allocated to the 12 approved projects is $12 million.

The 2017 Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit is a 25 percent refundable tax credit available for property owners who invest resources to restore historic properties. To be eligible for the tax credit, properties must be at least 60 years old and listed, or eligible to be listed, in the National Register of Historic Places.

First enacted in 2013, the tax credit has recently been responsible for more than 50 major renovations throughout Alabama, including the antebellum Staples-Take building in downtown Mobile and the Redmont Hotel in Birmingham. According to the Commission, the total investment on those projects was $334 million.

Lisa D. Jones, Executive Director of the Alabama Historical Commission said tax credit provides jobs, brings in state and local revenue, all while while preserving and rehabilitating Alabama’s historic properties.

“The reuse of historic properties helps breathe new life into older buildings that would otherwise remain underutilized. State and federal tax credits help to offset the increased costs associated with the appropriate rehabilitation of historic buildings.  This program gives the less populated counties a good opportunity to participate. The renewed program will also provide a positive economic impact on the surrounding areas.”

Tom Newton, the Prattville developer working to save the Gin Shop before it crumbles, expressed his thanks on behalf of the community.

“Prattville and Autauga County are tremendously grateful to the Alabama Historical Commission for their recognition of the importance of saving these historically significant, iconic structures,” Newton said.

“The Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits not only help preserve our history, the also bring significant, long-term economic benefits to our region.”

The full is of projects and total tax credit allocations is available online here.

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