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What is Historic Real Estate Development?

Ever wonder how historic tax credits benefit a real estate development project? Ever wonder how these projects make it to closing? The National Development Council, a community and economic development nonprofit, offers Historic Real Estate Development certification courses each year that helps address these questions for historic preservation professionals across the country. The two-part series takes up two weeks of the year with intensive class periods, case studies, and opportunities to connect with others along the way. Thanks to the Main Street America Institute and the 1772 Foundation, the classes are made affordable for Main Street organizations across the country.

Each week covers critical information for historic rehabs. The first week looks closely at the commercial real estate finance process. It answers questions like what does an appraisal do for the project? How much debt can the project hold? And what are the three major benefits of owning real estate? The course uses real case studies for students to work through about how historic tax credits made the project feasible.

The second week takes all of the knowledge from the first week and puts it into the context of a community. You’ll work through problem-solving techniques that help work through how you might negotiate a deal, with special attention given to each stakeholder’s negotiation power and motivation. Overall, the courses dovetail nicely to provide the necessary insight for real estate development newbies.

Rethos’ Real Estate Manager, Ethan Boote, recently completed the Historic Real Estate Development Finance certification this September. The certification, although long in its abbreviation (HREDFP), will be helpful to the evolution of Rethos’ real estate division. It helped provide a deeper understanding of the full context of a historic rehab and is a helpful tool for anyone interested in helping facilitate historic tax credit rehabs in their communities. Hopefully next year the class will be offered in person for further networking opportunities and hands-on learning!


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