Main Street Buildings Get Revitalization Tax Credits

BERLIN – Some highly visible downtown Berlin buildings are among those benefiting from revitalization tax credits announced this week.

On Tuesday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced $19 million in revitalization tax credits. In Berlin, the buildings at 11 N. Main Street, 7 N. Main Street and 15-19 N. Main Street will receive credits.

“I’m very happy this project has received historic tax credits,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director.

The Hogan administration announced Nov. 1 that the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT)—a division of the Maryland Department of Planning—had awarded 16 projects throughout the state 19 million in revitalization tax credits. The Historic Revitalization Tax Credit, administered by MHT, has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in rehabilitation projects since 1996. The investments have resulted in improvements to more than 5,000 residential and 825 commercial historic structures. According to a study by the Abell Foundation, the state program has helped to create an estimated 33,700 jobs through construction, and new or expanded occupation of these significant historic resources.

“The Historic Revitalization Tax Credit awards will breathe new life into our communities and towns,” Hogan said in a news release. “These awards will allow for refurbishments to revitalize sites in local communities across the state and serve as an effective investment tool for strengthening Maryland’s local economies and redevelopment across Maryland.”

This year, 24 applicants sought $39.3 million in tax credits for construction projects totaling more than $210 million in estimated costs. The 16 projects selected for the 2023 tax credits were based on an established set of criteria, including those outlined by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior for historic building rehabilitations.

“It is an honor to be part of these awards that serve historic revitalization and play an integral part in advancing economic development,” said Planning Secretary Rob McCord. “The preservation of these historic sites enhances our state’s history and encourages projects that support the enjoyment of our state’s history, culture, and scenic beauty.”

Here in Berlin, Wells said this was the first time in recent years a project within the town had received tax credits. The project, which essentially involves the storefronts along Main Street that Jack Burbage is in the process of renovating, received tax credits equal to 20% of their eligible rehabilitation expenses. The building at 11 N. Main St., which is expected to cost $1.1 million to renovate, received $292,028 in tax credits. The storefronts from 15-19 N. Main St., which are expected to cost $412,770 to renovate, received $103,192 in tax credits. The structure at 7 N. Main St., which is estimated to cost $1.4 million to fix, had $364,498 in tax credits awarded.

Samantha Pielstick, Burbage’s property manager, said the tax credits would assist in improving the buildings.

“We are very thankful to have been awarded these tax credits and look forward to moving forward with the project,” she said. “We know it will enhance downtown Berlin for locals and visitors for many, many years to come.”

The only other Worcester County project to receive tax credits was the old firehouse on Fifth Street in Pocomoke. The building, constructed in 1939, is set to become a mixed use building featuring commercial and residential space.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.