Since the opening date of the application period on December 1, 2014, I have received many calls and inquiries about the status of Year 2 of Pennsylvania’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit program. By the closure of the application period on February 1, 2015, the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) received 30 applications for the second round.

Over a long review period which lasted until mid-April, PHMC reviewed the applications to ensure applicants owned qualified historic buildings and that proposed rehabilitation plans met the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.  As the qualified applications far exceed the limited $3 million in available credits, DCED used a fair and balanced selection process based on a first -come, first serve basis with regional distribution to select the first round of projects.

To understand the potential economic impact of these 30 proposed projects, here is a general overview of the applicants:

  • The applicants requested a total of $11,945,867 in tax credits for projects with the 30 projects representing an estimated $407,933,776 of construction expenditures, which will generate local and state taxes through payroll, material purchases, real estate taxes and other revenue streams that would offset the $3 million in state tax credits.
  • There was broad regional distribution as all five regions submitted enough applications to utilize a full $500,000 allocation (12 in SE PA, 2 in NE PA, 5 in Central PA, 9 in SW PA and 1 in NW PA)
  • Ultimately, 15 projects in 8 counties received tax credits with building types including an armory, schools, a Masonic hall, industrial buildings that manufactured US Navy ships and stoves, residential homes and large office buildings.
  • The proposed uses for the buildings range from an artist studios and entertainment center (Stokes Millworks in Harrisburg), design studios for an international women’s retail store (Building 18, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard), an early learning center and student housing (James Madison School in Scranton) and a hotel (Oliver Building in Pittsburgh).  A few projects such as the Briggs House in Harrisburg and 408 W. North Avenue in Pittsburgh focused on rehabbing historic houses for rental housing.


Here is a list of the historic buildings that received the Fiscal Year 2014-15 Historic Preservation Tax Credits allocation of $3 million by region:

Southeast Region
Historic Building Municipality County Tax Credit
Pennsylvania Building, 1501 Chestnut Street Philadelphia Philadelphia $250,000
A.F Bernot Brothers Building, 1642 Fairmount Philadelphia Philadelphia $250,000
Robert and Manders Stove Company Hatboro Montgomery $150,000
Building 18, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard Philadelphia Philadelphia $100,000
Northeast Region
Historic Building Municipality County Tax Credit
James Madison School, 528 Quincy Avenue Scranton Lackawanna $250,000
Governor Wolf School, 45 N. 2nd Street Easton Northampton $250,000
Central Region
Historic Building Municipality County Tax Credit
Bi-Comp Building, 210 York Street York York $300,000
Stokes Millworks, 340 Verbeke Street Harrisburg Dauphin $117,250
Briggs House, 17 N. Front Street Harrisburg Dauphin $82,750
Southwest Region
Historic Building Municipality County Tax Credit
Heinz Service & Auditorium Building Pittsburgh Allegheny $210,235
Oliver Building, 535 Smithfield Street Pittsburgh Allegheny $210,235
Masonic Hall, 16-20 W. North Avenue Pittsburgh Allegheny $150,000
5800 Bryant Street Pittsburgh Allegheny $100,00
408 W. North Avenue Pittsburgh Allegheny $79,350
Northwest Region
Historic Building Municipality County Tax Credit
Erie Armory, 350 E. 6th Street Erie Erie $369,015