Berks County Trust Co. Building Recipient of $250k Historic Preservation Tax Credit

The Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin and Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Executive Director Andrea Lowery announced the latest recipients of the fiscal year 2020-21 Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

State investment by the program will help create an estimated $215 million in rehabilitation expenditures for projects that preserve historic buildings, revitalize communities and promote local economic development.

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In Berks County, the Berks County Trust Company building in Reading was selected for rehabilitation of the National Register listed bank into an office building with a food court in the main banking hall. $250,000 tax credit allocation, $11,000,000 in estimated construction expenditures.

Selected regional projects include the extensive restoration of a vacant train station in Wilkinsburg, Allegheny County, into a mixed-use property with retail spaces on the first floor and 27 market rate apartments; the rehabilitation of a major mixed use building in Waynesboro, Franklin County; and the rehabilitation of two tobacco warehouses in Lancaster, Lancaster County, into mixed-use property with retail spaces on the first floor and student housing on upper floors; and the award winning restoration of the Bok Vocational School in Philadelphia into a business incubator for 150 tenants.

“The preservation of historic buildings in Pennsylvania is vital to simultaneously revitalize communities while still telling stories of the past,” said Sec. Davin. “With this funding, the awardees can modernize and bring new life to these spaces—resulting in new opportunities in places to live, work and play in neighborhoods across the state.”

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“The Historic Preservation Tax Credit encourages revitalization of distressed communities, preservation of state and local heritage, and long-term economic development,” stated Executive Director Lowery.

“The 27 projects awarded this year yield long-term benefits beyond the projects themselves, having significant positive spillover effects through the reuse of historic buildings in Pennsylvania cities and towns.”

The 27 projects that are allocated the $5 million in tax credits will leverage an estimated $215 million in construction projects. In all, 49 applicants had sought nearly $21 million in tax credits for construction projects totaling more than $394 million in estimated construction costs.

The Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, administered by the Department of Community & Economic Development and Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission since 2013, has invested more than $28 million to rehabilitate 154 historic buildings leveraging an estimated $2 billion in construction expenditures. The investments have helped preserve buildings that contribute to the distinct character of Pennsylvania’s boroughs, townships and cities.

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