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State awards city downtown grant

The city of Lincolnton has received a Historic Preservation Fund Grant from the State Historic Preservation Office of the Department of Cultural Resources to complete a National Register Historic District nomination for downtown Lincolnton.
Downtown will be the first commercial historic district in Lincoln County and will complement the two residential National Register Historic Districts on West Main Street and South Aspen Street in Lincolnton listed on the National Register in 2003.
“We’re very pleased that we were selected to receive these grant funds to complete the nomination process,” said Brad Guth, Business and Community Development director. “Our next step is to hire a preservation consultant to complete the nomination.”
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of buildings, structures, objects, sites and districts worthy of preservation for their significance in American history, architecture, archaeology and culture.
The listing of a property on the National Register is an honorary designation and places no obligation or restriction on a private owner using private resources to maintain or alter the property.
But once the historic district is listed on the National Register, property owners with buildings contributing to the district will be eligible for the 20 percent federal tax credit available for rehabilitation of income producing buildings.
In addition to the federal tax credit, there are state and city incentive programs for rehabilitation. The state program provides a 20 percent income tax credit and the city’s program provides 10 percent cash grant for rehabilitation based on the tax value of the building.
Owners must spend at least 50 percent of the improvements value of the property to be eligible for the city’s program.
“These tax credits are what’s driving much of the redevelopment occurring in downtowns in North Carolina,” said Guth. “And up till now property owners in Lincolnton couldn’t take the credits. Now we should see some more substantial projects take place in downtown Lincolnton. When you get over 40 percent of your money back on an investment project, it tends to generate a lot of interest and activity.”
The city of Lincolnton’s application was prepared by the Business and Community Department, and secured from among 21 grant proposals submitted.
The Business and Community Development also secured a previous Historic Preservation Fund grant to complete the South Aspen and West Main National Register Historic Districts in Lincolnton. Laura Phillips, a preservation consultant from Winston-Salem completed the nomination.by Staff Reports

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