PAWV Launches New Historic Preservation Loan Fund

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Monroe Street in Fairmont looking south towards the Monongahela River – Photo by Shae Strait

The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia has launched a new loan program aimed at getting historic structures rehabilitated. The program is called the Historic Preservation Loan Fund. It is a revolving loan guarantee program to help minimize risk for lending financial institutions in case a borrower defaults and to assist applicants that may not have the capital available for a bank loan. The funds must be used for acquiring, rehabilitating, or redeveloping of a historic building that is on the National Register of Historic Places, a contributing structure to a NRHP district, eligible for the NRHP, or on PAWV’s current list of Endangered Properties.

To learn more, please visit PAWV’s News and Notes article.

Philly Streets Get Test of Jane Jacobs’ “Eyes on the Street” Effect

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Jane Jacobs outside of her home on Spadina Road

In the five-and-a-half decades since Jane Jacobs published “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” her core contention — that urban vitality and safety are a function of small-scale density, a mixture of uses and “eyes on the street” — has become conventional wisdom in urban theory. But the impact that that notion has enjoyed can be attributed, in large part, to the poetic force of Jacobs’ delivery: The idea that an active “sidewalk ballet” makes neighborhoods safe as well as vibrant seems to jibe with daily experience. Can data bear it out?

According to a new study, maybe.

Read the full story from the Next City here.

Can Rehabilitating Historic Buildings Help W.Va.’s Economy?

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Photo Credit: Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia’s historic rehabilitation tax credit was put in place to encourage developers and property owners to take some of the state’s crumbling, historic structures and get them back into working order. The credit is also supposed to encourage the creation of local jobs while repurposing the underutilized buildings.

But the state’s tax credit is 10 percent, and a coalition of architects, economic developers, and others say that’s not enough to encourage the community development they’d like to see. That same group is now traveling the state looking for support as they prepare to ask state lawmakers to increase the tax credit.

Read the whole story at WV Public Broadcasting here.