Merski, Harkins: $500,000 tax credit will leverage funds to rehab historic Erie buildings into apartments

ERIE, June 18 – Several historic buildings in downtown Erie will see new life as residential apartments thanks to a $500,000 tax credit, which will leverage nearly $5 million to cover construction costs, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today.

Merski said the project – to rehabilitate four Second Empire houses in the West Sixth Street Historic District located at 328-332 W. 6th St. into market-rate apartments – will bring multiple benefits for the community and the local economy.

“This tax credit is great news because it’s an investment in our past as well as our future,” Merski said. “We’re preserving the history and character of our neighborhood while at the same time creating jobs and expanding housing options for residents, which in turn will attract more business to the area.”

Harkins agreed, noting, “We’re not just rehabilitating buildings, we’re revitalizing the social and economic landscape, as well, by opening the door to new residents and stimulating investment in the community. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

The tax credit for the Erie project is one of 24 projects throughout the state receiving $3 million in tax credits, which are expected to leverage an estimated $113 million in construction projects.

The Historic Preservation Tax Credit program is administered by the Department of Community & Economic Development and Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Since 2013, it has invested more than $18 million to rehabilitate 105 historic buildings, leveraging an estimated $1.5 billion in construction expenditures. The investments have helped preserve buildings that contribute to the distinct character of Pennsylvania’s boroughs, townships and cities.