This Could be your New Home

Thanks to preservation conscious developers like Jim Snyder of Elm Tree Partners, LLC the Lubbock, Texas Post Office & Federal Building will soon be a mixed-use residential complex. The building will house 24 apartments, and will preserve architectural features like windows, flooring, stairways and ceilings.

This past month of May, I had the privilege of touring the construction site during Preservation Texas 2016 Panhandle Regional Meeting in Lubbock. To hear about all the modern features that will be introduced along with a sleek modern design that will give new life to this historic building was amazing. In the Rio Grande Valley we struggle finding investors who are willing to rehabilitate old buildings, so we loose many of them. Demolition is not the only option. There are remodeling and restoration projects, but lately we are seeing more rehabilitation projects like this particular one. This is when a building used for one particular purpose is rehabilitated to be used in another way. In this case from a post office to an apartment complex.

I wanted to share this experience to present an option and inspire builders, designers and architects to engage in the preservation of the older architecture of the Valley. Today, and according to Snyder, many investors from outside of Texas are setting their sights in our historical buildings thanks to the Texas state tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic buildings. Locals can also benefit from this incentive, for it is available to everybody as long as detailed guidelines are followed.

Snyder seems to have gotten very good at understanding how this system works from what I could gather during the tour. He knows the process well and his excitement for preserving these buildings is contagious. I was ready to go buy a building and fix it! There is just one minor detail; I don’t have millions of dollars laying around waiting to be spent restoring a historical building. But it is always nice to dream. What is best is that investing in Lubbock seems to be a profitable venture according to Snyder, for he expects the apartments to rent fast at an average rate of $1 per square foot.  The new apartments are designed to be around 400 to 500 sq. ft. On the third floor, where the court room used to be, there will be two 2-story apartment complexes making perfect use of the double ceilings. Even when small, apartments on the front part of the building are incredible due to the large windows and high ceilings.

Lubbock courthouse 2


Lubbock courthouse 1

“Kids today don’t want to own a house, or a car. They want to be able to walk around everywhere and have a good time,” said Snyder adding that millennials love old buildings with character instead of brand new spaces. I am not a millennial, but would not mind living in one of these apartments when I retire – or even before. I would save some money for travel. Could this be your new home?

 

Preservation is about the future and not the past. Can you imagine a San Antonio without its missions? Without the Alamo or without the Menger hotel? What is Houston without the Astrodome? And today, are we building structures worth preserving? Will they tell our story for generations to come?

The Texas Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program became effective January 1, 2015 for properties placed in service on or after September 1, 2013. Administrative rules for implementation of the Texas historic Preservation Tax Credit Program have been adopted as Sections 13.1 – 13.8 of Chapter 13 (Title 13, Part II of the Texas Administrative Code). For more on this visit www.thc.state.tx.us 

Elm Partners LLC is a capital project fund and financing company focused primarily on the development of world-class, Native American -owned resort projects. Over the last decade Elm Tree and its principals have financed, developed and provided advisory services on many large financings and developments across the United States.

 

 

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