Recently there has been much discussion about the various means of public support for private historic rehabilitation and other construction projects. There has been criticism, some of it justified, of specific instances of the use of government tools – such as tax-stabilization acts – for promotion of economic activity. While this type of review is always healthy, there is a distinct danger that the larger picture will be missed.
Nearly a year ago High Rock Development proposed a mixed, commercial/residential redevelopment of 111 Westminster Street in Providence, using up to $75 million in public support. The latter ranged from state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits to city property tax breaks and $39 million in direct state subsidies.
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