The Pineville Pilot Letter to the Editor Nov. 2013

In regard to the Cone Mill, which may soon be declared a historic landmark, which will allow a developer to receive tax credits toward redeveloping the area.

Editor,
We have heard much about the “benefits” of having local buildings deemed “historic” (presumably only by the state). In particular, the Cone Mill has been the focus of some of the recent discussion, but some of the downtown area also has previously been the focus of receiving the “benefit” of that designation. Could someone please explain to me how this “benefit” works?
If the benefit is a tax credit for the cost of development or rehabilitation of the property, wouldn’t that still require the money to be spent upfront?
Also, does this take into account any downside of such a designation? I have heard of owners of historic properties being prevented from making any additions to their property (or, like with the Cone Mill, being required to remove additions at additional expense). Is that something to consider, and is that likely to happen in Pineville? Likewise, will there be the added expense of having to keep the original kinds of materials used for the windows and roof? Will any upgrades be allowed? Will these restrictions make the cost to heat/cool the building more expensive?
Finally, is there a risk that, after all of the cost and effort put into rehabilitating the property, this would be an excuse (especially in Mecklenburg County) for an increase in the tax assessment?
I’d like to hear from someone that owns a building in or around Pineville that has previously received the “honor” and “benefit” of a historical designation. In the long run, did it help or did it hurt?

Mark Matthews

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