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There have been a lot of changes over the past 50 years, both in the types of jobs Americans have and where and how they live. Many of these changes have left historic buildings vacant. Many small cities and towns have been hit especially hard, with industry moving out of the area (or out of the country). Have you ever looked at one of the old buildings – perhaps an old Mill – and thought, “I’d love to buy that building and renovate it…”?

Redeveloping a historic property may not be as far out of reach as you think. There are federal, state and local incentives and grants available to those interested in rehabilitating historic properties. Programs exist through the federal government and the state of North Carolina to help turn these old buildings into income producing properties, for example, apartments, office space, or retail; homeowner credits are also available in NC for rehabilitating old homes.

Our area is currently seeing the beginnings of activity for redevelopment projects, including plans for an apartment building at the old Thomasville Furniture Industries plant and changes at the Depot District. Larger projects may be best tackled through public/private partnerships with a goal of long-term economic development.

Here are some resources you may find of value if you’re considering rehabilitating a historic property:

  1. Uptown Lexington, Inc. coordinates a façade improvement grant program. Learn more at:
  2. The State of North Carolina Historic Preservation Office manages a new historic preservation tax credit program that took effect 1/1/2016 and runs through 1/1/2020. Learn more at:
  3. The National Park Services offers up to a 20% tax credit for qualifying rehabilitation expenses. Learn more about the program at This site also has links to qualification information and steps to apply.
  4. The folks at Uptown Lexington are also very well informed about tax credits ad grants to restore downtown Lexington’s historic buildings. Their number is (336) 249-0383.

If you’re considering taking on a redevelopment project, it’s always a good idea to have a real estate attorney on your team, as well. Feel free to contact Brinkley Walser Stoner to set an appointment to discuss your real estate project with one of our attorneys.