Note: This page is part of the Governor's News Archive, which holds press releases from January 2009 through September 2011. Since October 2011, recent news can be found in the Newsroom and archived news is available at news.delaware.gov.
March 10, 2010
Governor Markell Holds News Conference Calling for Renewal of Delaware Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program To Preserve History and Jobs
At a news conference held in front of the Queen Theater on Market Street in downtown Wilmington, Governor Jack Markell announced his support for the re-authorization of the Delaware Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, which offers state tax credits to property owners for expenses incurred during the rehabilitation of historic buildings. The program, which began in 2001, is set to expire on June 30 of this year.
Over the past decade, the tax credit has stimulated significant private investment in Delaware communities, resulting in the rehabilitation of seventy-five historic buildings across the state. A commitment of approximately $35 million in state tax credits during that period has spurred private investment of over $166 million.
Commenting on the important role that the historic preservation tax credits have played in saving historic buildings, while at the same time creating well-paid jobs and stimulating economic activity, Governor Markell noted: “This is about preserving history and preserving jobs. Literally, hundreds of carpenters, plumbers, steelworkers, electricians, painters, and restoration experts are working in Delaware every year as a direct result of this program. Every $5 million in tax credits translates into 350-400 jobs. These are good, well-paying jobs and jobs that bring a great deal of job satisfaction as trades people work on preserving buildings built generations ago.”
The impact of Delaware historic preservation tax credits has been felt in communities in every one of Delaware’s counties:
• Restore the Brick Hotel in Georgetown
• Preserve destruction of historic buildings in Milford, Dover, Georgetown, Delaware City
• Rehabilitate 22 historic homes, including ship captain’s home in Milton and former Governor’s home in Milford
• Convert historic buildings into multi-resident living spaces in Wilmington
• Transform vacant industrial building into productive commercial use including former Brandywine Power Plant in Wilmington
State and municipal leaders who spoke at the press conference in support of the tax credit program were State Senator Margaret Rose Henry and State Representative E. Bradford Bennett (the sponsor and co-sponsor, respectively, of the legislation to re-authorize the tax credit); State Representative Gerald L. Brady; Wilmington Mayor James Baker; and Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey W. Bullock.
The press conference was held against the backdrop of the historic Queen Theater which is currently being rehabilitated by the Buccini Pollin Group at a cost of $25 million, to be offset by State Historic Preservation Tax Credits of almost $4.5 million. The building, which was constructed in 1873 as the Clayton House Hotel, was converted to a theater in 1915 and served in that function until it closed in 1959. After remaining vacant for many years, the building is now being rehabilitated for use as a music venue. Future tenants will include World Café Live, which will present live concerts at the Queen, and the University of Pennsylvania’s public radio station, WXPN, which will have a studio in the facility.
The Tax Credit Program is administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.