Possible Historic Tax Credit cut could impact downtown Davenport development

DAVENPORT, Iowa-- A proposed federal tax cut could eliminate a Historic Tax Credit, making a big impact to downtown Davenport.

City council member Marion Meginnis says she's worried it could slow down or stop redevelopment in the city.

"Historic tax credits are really the thing that has fueled the renovations of of all these buildings in our towns," says Meginnis.

The Historic Tax Credit provides up to 20 percent of funding to a historic building project that's on the register.

"When you lose your sense of place you lose a major reason why people are drawn to cities," says Meginnis.

Dozens of buildings were rehabilitated using this credit such as the Alder Theater, The Current, Black Hawk Hotel, and the list goes on.

"In the Quad Cities specifically we've seen $400 million dollars in development in Davenport alone from that program," says Henry Marquard, Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.

Companies like Y and J Properties use the Federal Historic Tax Credit to help with the cost of redevelopment. They're currently renovating an old factory and turning it into a living and commercial space called Van Tine.

"We're doing 113 high end residential units with a roof top swimming pool," says developer, Joe Erenberger.

Without the federal tax credit Erenberger says the project would've been too expensive.

"To redo the infrastructure of the building which is sewer water, sprinkler system...it's about $35 million dollars," said Erenberger.

He says it's more costly to revamp the old buildings rather than building from the ground up.

Meginnis says her concern is that developers would think twice about investing into an older building and could lose economic growth.

"(It's) harder to make a decision on going ahead with renovation because they're going to have to with the dollars and cents," says Meginnis.