Legislation should never be enacted with one overwhelming beneficiary in mind (Exhibit A: 38 Studios LLC).
But there is one potential project that should make the revival of the historic-preservation tax credit a priority this year.
The program comes to mind because Cornish Associates, the developer founded and run by Arnold “Buff” Chace Jr., has been hired to study the feasibility of turning 111 Westminster St., also known as the “Superman building,” into a residential tower.
Mr. Chace estimates 200 to 300 units in the old Bank of America regional headquarters would be “just what the doctor ordered” to help continue downtown’s transformation into a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood, although it could not be built without a reinstatement of the historic-tax-credit program.
The credits more than pay for themselves in terms of current economic activity, and they attract private capital that otherwise would not come here. Hopefully, the Superman building will generate the needed push to bring it back. •