Historic Preservation & Sustainable Development

Preservation is a cornerstone of smart growth." - the Smart Growth Manuel

12 Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation, National Trust

1. Rehab Costs Are Roughly the Same as Building New

•If no demolition is required, a major rehabilitation will cost between 12% less and 9 % more than new construction.
•If constructing a new building requires demolition of a significant existing structure, cost savings from rehab will be between 3% and16%.
•Life spans for new buildings are often 30-40 years vs. more than 100 years for most historic structures.

2. Creates Jobs

•In a typical rehabilitation project, 60% to 70% of the total cost is labor. •Laborers are almost alw ays hired locally. They, in turn, spend their money locally, supporting the local economy.

3. Increases Property Values

•In a study of National Register districts in Philadelphia, homes in historic districts received a sales price premium of 131% over comparable properties in undesignated neighborhoods.
•A study of nine Texas cities found that local designation increased property values from betw een 5% and 20% .

4. Conserves Resources

•Approximately 25% of the material being added to the landfills is demolition and construction waste.

5. Uses Existing Public Investments

•Every community has significant investments in public infrastructure, including roads, sewers, parks and schools.
•Historic preservation directs development to places w here infrastructure is already in place.

6. Supports Small Business

•75% of all net new jobs in the U .S. are created by small businesses.
•Older buildings are for small, independent businesses and start-ups.
•60 cents of every dollar spent at independent businesses remains in the local economy vs. less than 10 cents at national discounters.

7. Revitalizes Main Street

Since 1980, local M ain Street programs have:
•Stimulated $ 48.9 billion in total private and public investment.
•Created 94,176 net new businesses.
•Generated 417,919 net new jobs.

8. Attracts Investment

"In economics, it is the differentiated product that commands a high premium. If in the long run we want to attract capital, to attract investment in our communities, we must differentiate them from anywhere else."-Donovan Rypkema

9. Attracts Visitors

•78% of U .S. leisure travelers (118 million adults) participate in cultural and/or heritage activities w hen traveling.
•Cultural heritage travelers spend, on average, $ 994 per trip compared to $ 611 for all U .S. travelers.
•Cultural/heritage travelers took an average of 5 trips in 2008/09 compared with slightly less than 4 trips for non-cultural/heritage travelers.

10. Prevents Sprawl

•Saving historic buildings and keeping our tow ns and cities healthy reduces the pressure to pave the countryside.
•When we reinvest in older neighborhoods, we are reinvesting in inherently sustainable communities that are generally dense, walkable, transit-accessible, and feature mixed-uses.

11. Creates Affordable Housing

•To replace the current housing units occupied by lower income residents would cost $335 billion.
•In 2005, 1,101 unites of affordable housing were created in historic buildings using the federal rehabilitation tax credits.

12. Preservation is Good Economic Development!

If demolition of 10,000 square feet of old building wipes out the environmental benefit of recycling 2,688,000 aluminum cans, imagine the demolition of this enormous historic powerhouse.  Demolition of 300,000 square foot building negates the benefits of recycling over 80,000,000 aluminum cans! Built in the Beaux Arts style, this historic powerhouse is now owned by the Noistette Company with plans to restore the building and launch it as an important cultural destination.