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Tag: Vacancy

Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: Blighted and Vacant Properties

Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: Blighted and Vacant Properties

Presentation Summary

Rista Malanca, Director of Community and Economic Development at NHCOG, discusses updates to two important pieces of recent legislature concerning blight and littering:

Regarding PA 19-92, her presentation defines a party of interest and explains how one can file a claim to receive ownership of an abandoned/blighted property. Later, she provides an analysis of PA 23-33 that includes updated language on the maximum daily penalties municipalities can assess for blight under their general powers and the increased state littering fine.


What is Tax Increment Financing?


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About Our Presenter

Rista Malanca

Director of Community and Economic Development at Northwest Hills Council of Governments (NHCOG)

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Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

Presentation Summary

Julie Carmelich, Historic Tax Credit Administrator, State Historic Preservations Office (SHPO), will discuss several tax credit programs offered by SHPO applicable to historic rehabilitation efforts including:

She will also present on the environmental benefits of historic preservation and other grant opportunities from SHPO.


What is Tax Increment Financing?


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About Our Presenter

Julie Carmelich

Historic Tax Credit Administrator, State Historic Preservations Office (SHPO)

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Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: C-PACE for New Construction

Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: C-PACE for New Construction

Presentation Summary

Peter Ludwig, Senior Manager of Market Engagement at CT Green Bank, presents on the CT Green Bank C-PACE for New Construction program.

The C-PACE for New Construction program (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) offers financing available to commercial properties for GREEN solutions and low-cost, long-term funding (up to 25 years). The owner repays over time through a senior assessment placed on the property. The assessment stays with the property regardless of ownership. This presentation also includes information on eligible and ineligible costs for C-PACE financing.


What is Tax Increment Financing?


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About Our Presenter

Peter Ludwig

Senior Manager of Market Engagement at CT Green Bank

Contact Info

Website:

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Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: reSET

Addressing Blight and Vacancy on Main Street Summit 2024: reSET

Presentation Summary

Sarah Bodley, Executive Director, reSET co/BL&D, will present on the ways that reSET is a resource in retail incubation, launching and propelling social enterprises and other entrepreneurial initiatives to occupy vacancies on Main Street.

Her presentation will highlight successes with Connecticut businesses such as Blue Earth Compost, Charlie’s Traveling Treat Truck, and the Hartford Culinary Collaborative.


What is Tax Increment Financing?


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Other Resources


About Our Presenter

Sarah Bodley

, Executive Director at reSET

Contact Info

Website:

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CSMC Webinar: How to Fill Vacant Storefronts

CMSC Webinar

How to Fill Vacant Storefronts

Webinar Summary

Every Main Street will face vacancies from time to time, and COVID only exacerbated this challenge across Connecticut and the country. Not only are persistent vacancies detrimental to creating and sustaining a vibrant downtown, but they also have a negative economic impact on the community. In this webinar, our presenter Ilana Preuss – international speaker, and fierce advocate for creating great places and small-scale manufacturing – shares:

  • Innovative approaches to filling vacant storefronts from around the country
  • Programmatic ideas to collaborate with property owners
  • Long-term solutions to keep storefronts full by supporting local small business ecosystems

Presentation Highlights

  • 5 Reasons why vacant storefronts exist

    1. Cost of renovation: The cost to renovate a vacant space is too high and the market does not support a lease rate that supports the cost of renovation.
    2. Tax benefits: Property owners gain a tax benefit on the loss of not leasing space.
    3. Devalue underwriting: For new, big development projects, the owner doesn’t want to lower the price of the storefronts to not devalue the whole project if they are looking to sell or refinance at some point.
    4. Guaranteed lease: This is common to see in malls or big box strip centers, where a major anchor tenant has a guaranteed lease for an extended period of time so no one else can come into the space.
    5. Mismatch of real estate sizes and small business needs: A lot of communities have a lot of storefronts that are 2,000-10,000 square feet when a lot of small businesses need 500-1,000 square feet.
  • Context & national trends that are influencing our downtowns:

    • Vacant storefronts reduce the value of nearby property by 20% or more. They reduce traffic to these areas and leads to a feeling of isolation in the community. The impact of vacancies are multi-fold and in many cases create a downward spiral in communities.
    • During COVID, a lot of businesses pivoted, some survived, and many did not.
    • Over 1 million COVID deaths impacted our householders, economy, and individuals. The psychological impact of the pandemic cannot be ignored.
    • A lot of people started businesses in recent years without a lot of business experience. They started small business because they lost their jobs or decided to pursue their passion or a different quality of life.
    • People are demanding higher wages and pay.
    • Before the pandemic we saw demographic shifts such as decline in working age population and growing income and wealth inequality – which have only been exacerbated during COVID.
    • A lot of major chains shrunk their footprint and are focusing on prime locations.
  • Strategies to fill vacant storefronts

    1. Support small business

    Specifically focus on small-scale manufacturing (businesses that make consumer products). These businesses have opportunities for different sources of revenue making them more resilient – retail, wholesale, online, pop-ups, etc. They are a draw for foot traffic in your downtown and bring people together.

    • Provide financing to support these businesses
      • Provide incubators, accelerators, or other support programs to help them gain business skills and/or how they can move into storefronts particularly when paired with market opportunities and financing
      • Examples of training programs for getting home-based businesses into storefronts: Baltimore Home Run Accelerator, 37 Oaks

    2. Commercial Vacancy Tax Ordinance

    3. Tax Increment Finance (TIF) or other funding vehicle with matching grants

    4. Financing for local business to buy real estate

    • Keep real estate ownership local by providing support and financing options for local small business owners who have the interest and capacity to purchase property.
    • Examples: Pittsburgh

    5.Commercial Land Trust


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About Ilana Preuss

Ilana Preuss is the Founder and CEO of Recast City and the author of the new book “Recast Your City: How to Save Your Downtown with Small-Scale Manufacturing.”

Preuss’ passion for great places grew out of her experience working with small and large cities all over the country when she led the technical assistance program at the U.S. EPA Smart Growth Program, and as the Vice President & Chief of Staff at Smart Growth America. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University and a Masters of City Planning from the University of Maryland.

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