Restoration leads to rebates |

Restoration leads to rebates

Group receives tax benefits after revamping building

— Owners of historical Steamboat buildings can take a cue from an investment group that received $51,400 in tax benefits for restoring a historic building downtown.

The city’s Historic Preservation Advisory Commission voted last Monday night to approve the city’s request for a sales-tax rebate and state income-tax credit for the owners of the Routt National Bank building on Eighth Street and Lincoln Avenue.

The commission found the recently restored building to be in compliance with restoration standards.

The sales-tax rebate amounts to $1,462, and the state income-tax credit comes to $50,000, the highest amount available for this type of project.

Pat McClelland, the managing partner of Steamboat Springs Agency, which owns the building, said the agency spent $320,000 on the restoration. The State Historical Fund also contributed to the project.

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The city’s historic preservation specialist, Laureen Schaffer, said the tax benefits were the first of their kind in the city, which has stepped up historical preservation efforts in the past year.

The building, which now holds a T-shirt shop and an electronics store, was constructed in 1919 and was once the home of the Routt National Bank.

The Steamboat Springs Agency bought the building in 1970 and decided recently it could use a facelift.

McClelland said the agency wanted to restore the building to add to the historical nature of the community.

“We wanted to restore historic Steamboat,” McClelland said. “We paid the price to do that.”

Historic Routt County is now working with the owners to attempt to get the building placed on the National Historic Register, which could result in a federal tax credit.

One retailer who owns a shop in the building, however, said the restoration process was not all positive.

Maureen Hebard, the owner of Alpine Electronics, said she had to close her store for about two months and pay out-of-pocket for work that needed to be done on the interior of the store in conjunction with the restoration.

Although the restoration was expected to take one month, it lasted closer to eight months, Hebard said.

She also had to remove signs from the exterior of the building, which she said gives her business less exposure on Lincoln Avenue and made the signs a waste of money.

McClelland said the restoration adds to the value of the building as a retail space, as does a new handicap-access ramp to the building paid for by the agency.

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