Three Epsilon Projects Receive Preservation Awards Securing Over $17 Million In Historic Tax Credits

September 12th, 2022

Three Epsilon projects recently received Preservation Massachusetts awards. The awarded projects, which span the Commonwealth, include Liberty Affordable Housing Inc.’s Knitting Mill Apartments project located in Fall River; Center for Human Development for its rehabilitation of the former Sears Building in downtown Greenfield; and leading mechanical contractor Cannistraro’s redevelopment of Building 16 at the former South Boston Naval Annex. Epsilon assisted these clients in obtaining state and federal historic preservation tax credits totaling over $17 million. Epsilon’s Historic Preservation Group provides expert planning and other consulting services related to historic preservation, to clients throughout Massachusetts and the Northeast.

Preservation Photos
From top to bottom: Knitting Mill Apartments, Sears Building, and 25 Fid Kennedy

Knitting Mill Apartments, Fall River Wins Preservation Massachusetts’ Tsongas Award

Liberty Affordable Housing Inc. received a 2022 Paul & Niki Tsongas Award from Preservation Massachusetts for its Knitting Mill Apartments project. Epsilon began providing historic preservation planning services to Liberty Affordable Housing in 2012 securing state and federal tax-advantaged rehabilitation credits for the adaptive reuse of the former Mill No. 2 complex at Wampanoag Mills located in Fall River, Massachusetts. Originally constructed around 1871, the mill at its height in 1901 housed some 90,000 knitting spindles. Rehabilitation of the new apartment complex was completed in 2019. The newly rehabilitated mill now houses 100 units of affordable senior housing and various amenities and services, including the Fall River’s Flint Senior Center. View a three-minute video of this project below:

Sears Building, Greenfield Wins Preservation Massachusetts Award

Epsilon client The Center for Human Development has received a 2022 Paul and Niki Tsongas Award from Preservation Massachusetts for the successful rehabilitation of the historic Sears Building located in downtown Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Epsilon began assisting the Center for Human Development in 2016 with its intent to purchase and rehabilitate the building. Constructed in 1929, the building is included in the Massachusetts Historical Commission's (MHC’s) Inventory of Historic and Archaeological Assets of the Commonwealth as part of Greenfield’s Central Main Street Area. With designs by the architectural firm Architectural Insights, rehabilitation of the building was completed in 2019 as a community health center providing vital healthcare services under one roof including mental health, dental, and other outpatient services.

Relying on historic photographs of the building and remaining original features, many aspects of the building were restored to their former historic appearance, including the exterior façade. New spaces were created as well, now providing community art display spaces. Epsilon’s services included preparing the three-part Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (MHRTC) applications. View a three-minute video of this project below:

Former WWII Naval Annex Building #16 (25 Fid Kennedy), South Boston Receives Preservation Massachusetts’ Thomas Menino Award

The Mayor Thomas M. Menino Legacy Award celebrates projects that are transformative, catalytic, embrace the community, create partnerships, and revitalize the best of the past to make something good for the future. In 2015, Epsilon began providing historic preservation planning services to leading mechanical contractor J.C. Cannistraro securing state and federal historic tax credits for its redevelopment of Building 16 in the former South Boston Naval Annex, located at 25 Fid Kennedy Avenue in South Boston. Constructed in 1940 for use by the United States Navy as a machine shop to repair and refit naval vessels, Building #16, like surrounding buildings in the sprawling complex had been vacant, deteriorating and underutilized since 1974.

Cannistraro’s vision was to adaptively reuse and return the 142,0000 square foot industrial building for use as a plumbing, HVAC, fire-protection, and related construction industries product assembly plant incorporating fabrication, staging, storage, shipping/receiving and associated office functions. The building was rehabilitated in a manner preserving its historic character, while making necessary upgrades to function as a modern facility. Epsilon is honored to have supported Cannistraro in this important project and its well-deserved recognition as a Preservation Massachusetts Menino Award recipient. View a three-minute video of this project below:

About Historic Tax Credits

Each year in Massachusetts, $55 million is available in state historic tax credits through the Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program. Successful certification of the completed project by the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) and securing the subsequent tax benefits (up to 20% of qualified rehab costs) is dependent upon rehabilitation work that meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation (the Standards). Epsilon works with clients to complete the complex three-part State application process that determines if the property meets the definition of a qualified historic structure, if the proposed work will meet the Standards, and receiving certification of the completed work.

In addition to the state historic tax credits, there is also a federal Investment Tax Credit program that is equal to 20% of a project’s qualified rehabilitation costs. Used together, these two programs can provide credits equal to up to 40% of a project’s qualified rehabilitation costs. For the federal program, in addition to work that meets the Standards, a property must ultimately be listed in the National Register of Historic Places after completed work. These tax credits are allocated to the project proponent in the form of a dollar-per-dollar credit on state and federal income taxes or can be syndicated to an investor as a means to assist in the financing of the project.

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Key Takeaways
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