A PDF of the Development Grant Report is downloadable and can be shared with your legislators and friends.
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia recently released a study that found state-appropriated Historic Preservation Development Grants revitalize West Virginia’s downtowns and encourage small business growth and sustainability across the state. The Historic Preservation Development Grant drives economic development by providing property owners with a grant award to rehabilitate historic properties. In 2014, the alliance researched the economic impact of grants and found that the Historic Preservation Development Grant generated almost $1 million in private investment in construction projects. Unfortunately, the grant has been decreased by 52% in the last three years and is no longer able to support as many or as large-scale projects, causing delays to ongoing renovations. Based on the alliance’s findings, the group is requesting the WV Legislature restore the grant budget to $563,570, the level at which it was funded in FY2013.
West Virginians are reusing historic assets at an increasing rate, revitalizing downtowns, and repurposing historic buildings — and the Historic Preservation Development Grant is a vital tool in the rehabilitation process. These historic assets are recognized through the National Register of Historic Places – the official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. One of the benefits of this honorary designation is access to special grant funding and tax credits targeted at preserving and reusing historic resources. At the state government level, property owners – both private and public – can access the Historic Preservation Development Grant, which can be used for roof repair or replacement, window and door rehab, electrical updating, and more. “It is clear that the grant is good for the people and the economy of West Virginia, but until now, there has been little data to prove this assertion,” stated Danielle LaPresta, Executive Director for the Preservation Alliance. In addition to generating private investment, projects utilizing this grant are also more likely to be grassroots driven, involving volunteers and owners that are living and working in West Virginia. “The grant funds are most frequently spent in communities where other tourism and economic development activities are occurring like the West Virginia Main Street program. Improvements made possible through this funding are visible at many of West Virginia’s most iconic historical resources and downtown tourist destinations, including the Staats Building in Charleston’s West Side and Carnegie Hall in downtown Lewisburg,” LaPresta noted.
This research is released just as the WV Legislature is beginning to review the FY2016 budget. LaPresta and the alliance hope that this research will encourage legislators to restore the Historic Preservation Development Grant budget to $563,570. The alliance is encouraging West Virginians to contact their legislators and show their support for this grant program. For more information, call 304-345-6005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FY 2012 (Main Street/OnTRAC Community*)
FY 2013 (Main Street/OnTRAC Community*)
FY2014 (Main Street/OnTRAC Community*)
FY 2015 (Main Street/OnTRAC Community*)
News and Notes
Subscribe to our mailing list to receive e-news updates on historic preservation news and events in West Virginia.