The Art’s Cafe project offers a unique way to help the community and reap financial benefits.
The project will host a happy hour and information session on Class C Membership, which combines support for the project with the distribution of historic tax credits.
“This is really appropriate for any taxpayer who would rather keep their taxes local and save a little money,” said project manager Seth Wochensky, executive director of Springville Center for the Arts. “You’d be surprised who qualifies for this and how they benefit.”
The site of Art’s Cafe, 5 East Main St., was abandoned and the roof collapsed. Springville Center for the Arts acquired the site and began the process of saving the facade and rebuilding the interior.
Historic tax credits are not new, but are typically only used to finance large renovation projects. A developer usually partners with a bank or large corporation.
The real estate developer receives investment to fund construction and the investor corporation benefits primarily through the use of the historic tax credits. These credits can then be used instead of cash to pay a tax bill.
Small towns have struggled to utilize these tax credits with projects that are typically much smaller but still have a big impact on the community.
“What’s unusual about this project is the ability to parcel out little pieces of the tax credits to individuals and businesses in a public way,” Wochensky explained. “As far as we know it is the only time this has been done. Wouldn’t it be nice to help your community and make money doing it?”
The project is now owned by a combination of the arts center and a large group of community investors in a structure similar to a co-op. The facility will house a performance space, arts workshop, artist residences and a public rooftop garden centered around a bakery-cafe.
The information event takes place at the Springville Center for the Arts on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. RSVP at info.artscafespringville.com.