It may not be spring, but as the new year dawns there are green shoots sprouting up across the state’s real estate development ecosystem.
Finally, the historic-preservation tax credit has made its official return. The R.I. Division of Taxation reported last week on the first three contract signings for a total of $1.6 million in credits that will go toward $7.3 million worth of project expenses. Including these first three, there is a total of $179.6 million in “qualified rehabilitation expenditures” for 27 projects on file with the state, according to documents obtained by The Providence Journal. If these projects attract as much additional private capital as the previous incarnation of the tax-credit program, they will make a significant dent in the state’s suffering construction sector.
In a story in this week’s edition, Lafayette Mills is profiled. The North Kingstown redevelopment project has been three decades in the making, but it is closing in on 100 percent occupancy, thanks to a number of factors: an attractive reuse of the historic structure; convenient access to the Wickford Junction commuter rail station; and the September opening of The Hive, part of Rhode Island’s growing collection of co-working spaces.
Taken on their own, each of these pieces of news is not earth-shattering in size. But in Rhode Island, small steps forward can add up to something big pretty quickly. •