Thursday, May 20, 2010

Preservation Group Measures Impact

A recent study commissioned by the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh found that in the last five years, historic preservation efforts in Southwestern Pennsylvania have had a $475 million dollar positive impact. YPA CEO Dan Holland says that includes $65.6 million in additional tax revenues. He says in total there was 5.2 million square feet renovated more than 3,000 permanent jobs created. Holland notes that these are jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Holland says he believes these numbers are lower than they truly are because it is very hard to count all of the renovations done to individual homes throughout the region. He says in nearly every case, it makes more sense to renovate an old building rather than tear it down and start again. Holland calls it the green decision.

One of the driving forces behind the decision to launch the study was a desire to encourage state lawmakers to pass more preservation friendly laws. Holland says the legislature should pass laws that provide incentives to owners of historic properties to preserve and reuse their old buildings. He says Pennsylvania is one of only a hand full of states that does not have an historic tax credit or grant program. Holland says, “This economic impact report underscores the need for Pennsylvania to adopt this preservation incentive legislation to extend the economic benefits of preservation to all communities across the Commonwealth.”

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