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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

Preservationists hope bi-partisan bill in Congress can save more Wilmington-area historic buildings

Seabird restaurant is an example of preservation using the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits
Ashley Brown
Seabird restaurant is an example of preservation using the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits

Historic Preservation Credits offer tax breaks to investors and developers who renovate or restore historic buildings. The goal is to make preservation more attractive and affordable — and avoid the demolition of historic buildings or landmarks.

A proposed change to Federal guidelines would make the credits even more valuable.

If the bill passes, the Preservation Tax Credit would temporarily increase from 20% to 30%. For smaller projects — under $2.5 million dollars — the increase would be permanent. The change would also make it easier for non-profits to participate.

Travis Gilbert is the Executive Director for the Historic Wilmington Foundation. He said, “We really believe and feel strongly that the new provisions to the tax credit will strengthen these opportunities for historic preservation.”

He also said he believed the tax credits would help other local organizations: “[The] Growth and Opportunity Act makes it easier for nonprofits, community health centers, art centers, affordable housing and what not to utilize these tax credits by eliminating certain IRS restrictions.”

Gilbert said a number of businesses have already benefited from the program, and hopes the change in the new law will allow others to qualify.

Ashley Brown is from from Houston, TX. She holds a BA in Mass Communication from Sam Houston State University and an MA in Professional Communication and Digital Media from Texas Southern University. Her love of news, radio, and entertainment led her to the field of journalism. As a creative person, she loves the journalistic challenge of putting stories together. And as a future news reporter, she hopes to tell stories that reach and affect people. In her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, journaling, spending time with friends and family, and trying out new brunch places to eat.