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Legislation Helps State Redevelopment Efforts

9:36 PM, Aug 4, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- More of South Carolina's old buildings may be getting an upgrade, thanks to a change in state law. 

A new bill signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley in June gives re-developers the ability to recoup some of the money spent on redevelopment.

"There's been a lot of talk over the past coule weeks about what's happened to Detroit," said Mike Bedenbaugh, Executive Director of the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation. "But the thing is, in South Carolina, we've got 100 'little Detroit's all over the state."

When it comes to history, the state of South Carolina has more than its share. It's full of buildings dating back centuries, leaving a gap between where the world's of old and new meet.

The Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act designates tax credits available to developers after applying through the state Department of Revenue, giving them the chance to recondition properties across the state. 

The chance at reconditioning many properties is given by closing the gap between investment risk and its rewards. Bedenbaugh called it a game changer.

"Now with this tax credit of 25 percent on top of the historic credit for those buildings that qualify," Bedenbaugh said, "it's already starting to spur interest all over the state."

One of the most contentious issues facing Columbia in years was the proposal deal struct between the City of Columbia and developer Bob Hughes.

The Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act affects all deals made after the first of this year, encompassing much of the language of the Bull Street proposal.

"What this will accomplish is being able to incentivize [sic] keeping the historic buildings there, because not only have they been abandoned, but they do qualify for the additional historic credit," Bedenbaugh said.

Columbia's downtown is peppered with buildings and districts brought back to life, yet more sit waiting the same chance at reconditioning.

Bedenbaugh said the credits spent on many of them will inject millions of dollars into the state economy, and bring long term growth with it.

"For every half a million dollars in tax credits taken -where ever that is taken creates 100 to 150 jobs," Bedenbaugh said, referring to the figures of a fiscla impact study commissioned by the Palmetto Trust through Clemson University's Strom Thurmond Institute. 

"That's in the construction industry, and all the service industries that ripple through that," Bedenbaugh said.

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