Two Sessions: (1st) Catalysts to Preservation: Incentives You Should Know (2nd) Demystifying Project Financing - Historic Tax Credits

APA Illinois Chapter


Thursday, September 14, 2017
9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. CDT

CM | 1.50

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Session Part One: 

Most planning professionals understand the importance of historic tax credits to major historic rehabilitation projects. But what incentives can have a truly catalytic affect in local communities? Suzanne Germann from Landmarks Illinois will describe a recent study on the impact of Landmarks’ local grant programs in Illinois communities. Diane Williams will present three (3) brief case studies on unique preservation incentives applied successfully in Illinois communities and elsewhere. Session attendees will then have the opportunity to discuss their local successes and challenges in incenting owners and developers to choose preservation.

Session Part Two:

A how-to guide on kick-starting your community's vacant and underutilized buildings utilizing Federal and State Historic Tax Credits.   We’ll walk through specific examples integrating a little understood form of financing.  You’ll learn how to leverage historic buildings and districts through real-time financial demonstrations revealing the viability of a building’s redevelopment. Understanding these simple opportunities will make you a go-to resource to help new and existing developers invest in your community.  

ABSTRACT:  Communities are returning to their downtowns, occupying and adapting vacant but viable buildings.  The challenge is not only in creative design but largely in the financing. This seminar will focus on how to create work with clients on existing buildings by utilizing Federal and State Historic Tax Credits.  We will walk through the application and logistics of these credits, using recent examples and show how they affect the viability of a building’s redevelopment.

Examples will include several revitalized downtown projects in Rockford, IL where an abundant stock of vacant buildings was once part of the landscape.  Although there are few that still exist, the value that these newly occupied buildings carry has changed our City by preserving the urban fabric and history.  But buildings don't need to be considered historic from the start to begin the process.  We'll walk through a recent example in Aurora, IL that was made viable by creating a historic district in order to claim tax credits. We’ll continue through that example to show how the construction costs feed into the historic tax credits.


Jennifer Spencer, AIA

Confirmed Speaker

Practicing architect with over 14 years of experience in all phases of architectural design and construction, specializing in historic rehabilitation and adaptive re-use. Other areas of experience include comprehensive project planning for real estate development, financial pro-forma’s and project estimating. I have a demonstrated understanding and knowledge of green ... Read More

Diane Williams

Confirmed Speaker


Ashley Sarver

Confirmed Speaker

Ashley is an urban planner at Gary W. Anderson Architects with a background in municipal economic development. She has the ability to analyze market conditions and consider the overall context to develop a plan for new construction or adaptive reuse. With a passion for community and neighborhood development, she mixes ... Read More

Suzanne Germann

Confirmed Speaker

Director of Grants and Easements at Landmarks Illinois The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Read More

Contact Info

Trevor Dick,