Today, Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law HB 348 by Rep. Leger – a Governor’s Package Bill – that extends and improves the residential historic rehabilitation tax credit, and SB 63 by Sen. Murray – the duplicate of Governor’s Package Bill HB 349 – which extends the commercial historic rehabilitation tax credit. The Governor was joined by state and local officials to sign the two bills in New Orleans at the Saenger Theater, which will benefit from the commercial rehabilitation tax credit program.
Governor Jindal said, “Signing these bills into law encourages the restoration of some of our most beautiful and historic buildings and communities, which supports our continued economic growth and job creation. Louisiana, and New Orleans in particular, has a wonderful culture, a history rich in beautiful architecture, and unique neighborhoods of distinct charm. These historic tax credits will help us revitalize and save this rich heritage of historic buildings for our children and the future.”
Mayor Mitch Landrieu said, “Extending state historic tax credits is a win-win for our city and state. They are vital for our economic development, historic preservation, and blight-fighting initiatives, and they will help move our recovery forward. For every dollar spent, these buildings push at least $3.22 into the economy once returned into commerce. The historic Saenger Theatre is just one example of many projects in New Orleans that will benefit from this extension.”
The commercial historic rehabilitation tax credit has already stimulated the revitalization of multiple notable landmarks across the state:
- · The Bywater Art Lofts, in the heart of the historic Bywater neighborhood in New Orleans, which is a 37 loft apartment community on the site of a former garment factory renovated in 2008. The project benefitted from $1.8 million in Louisiana tax credits.
- · The Kress, Knox, and Welsh Levy buildings, which are landmarks of the civil rights movement in Baton Rouge, were renovated in 2009 to create a single 65,000 sq.ft. multi-use structure including retail, office and condominium spaces. Approximately $4 million of Louisiana historic tax credits were utilized in the financing of this project.
- · The Muller’s Lofts rehabilitation transformed an old department store in downtown Lake Charles into a mixed-use development including retail, office and residential units. Approximately $2 million of Louisiana historic tax credits were utilized in the financing of this project.
The commercial historic rehabilitation tax credit is poised to stimulate additional significant projects across the state in the future, including:
- · The $60 million rehabilitation of the Saenger Theater in New Orleans, a flagship performing arts theater shuttered since Hurricane Katrina.
- · The $30 million redevelopment of the Commerce Building in downtown Baton Rouge.