There are a number of economic incentives to support the preservation of historic buildings. The most effective incentive has been historic preservation tax credits, which is an income tax credit against the qualified expenses of the substantial rehabilitation of a certified historic structure. Many states, including Ohio, also have a state historic preservation tax credit.
Another effective tool is an historic preservation easement, a flexible, negotiated preservation tool that provides perpetual protection of a building. An easement is a legal agreement between a property owner (grantor) and a preservation organization (grantee) that gives the organization the right to monitor and protect the architectural and historical character of the property. (The Cleveland Restoration Society (CRS) can be a grantee for an easement.) When granting an easement, the owner agrees not to alter specified portions of the property without permission of the recipient organization. Because the easement “runs with the land,” it is binding on all future owners.
Easements are designed to provide the perpetual protection and preservation of significant historic structures. Easements are tailored to each individual property and may cover interiors and/or exteriors, specific features of a building and its setting. Just as every property is unique, so too should be an easement.
Storefront Renovation Programs
Local municipalities may also offer their own incentives. Cleveland and Lakewood, for example, operate storefront renovation programs, Click on their links to learn more.