The old Taylor's Antique Mall is slated to receive $150,000 in state preservation tax credits toward a $750,000 rehabilitation project that will turn the old department store building into a restaurant and office space.
The old Taylor's Antique Mall is slated to receive $150,000 in state preservation tax credits toward a $750,000 rehabilitation project that will turn the old department store building into a restaurant and office space. (By Blair Ames, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The vacant Taylor's Antique Mall in Ellicott City soon will become home to a restaurant and office space largely because of a state preservation tax credit.

State officials on Wednesday announced the recpients of $10 million from the 2015 Sustainable Communities Tax Credit program that will fund nine historic restoration projects across Maryland, including three in Howard County. The tax credit program helps owners of historic structures preserve these properties while providing an economic boost to the community by offsetting costs of historic renovation.

Officials announced the tax credit recipients at the Howard County Welcome Center in Ellicott City, just up from street from Taylor's.

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Taylor's is slated to receive $150,000 toward a $750,000 rehabilitiation project that will turn the old department store building into a restaurant and office space.

Project manager Don Reuwer says the credit "means everything" to the project.

During a tour of Taylor's after the announcement, Reuwer said a tentative agreement has been reached for a Joe Squared pizza shop to be located on the first floor with 6,000 square feet of office space to be located on the second and third floors.

The project is anticipated to begin in January with Reuwer estimating it could be completed in six to eight months.

In addition to Taylor's, Carrollton Hall and Doughoregan Manor Work House in Ellicott City received tax credits toward restoration projects.

Carrollton Hall will receive $780,480 toward an estimated $3.9 million restoration of the 1832 mansion house to be used as a community meeting space and museum.

The Doughoregan Manor Work House is slated to receive $60,000 toward a $300,000 rehabilitation of the 1760s plantation building for use as rental housing.

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman, Sen. Ed Kasemeyer and County Councilman Jon Weinstein attended Wednesday's announcement and praised the impact these credits will have on Ellicott City.

"These three areas that have been recognized in Ellicott City in particular, and all nine, are the link to the past, but more importantly this program is a key to the future," Weinstein said. "It's more than what they have been, these places, it's the promise of what they will be."

In addition to the Ellicott City projects, the tax credit program will be aiding four projects in Baltimore, one in Cambridge and one in Cumberland.

In Baltimore, the Eastern Pumping Station/Baltimore Food Hub will receive $3 million toward a $15 million conversion of the former pumping station to a mixed-use food center business incubator. The Fells Point Recreation Pier is receiving $3 million toward an estimated $39.8 million conversion of the former municipal pier building for use as a hotel and restaurant facility.

The Florence Crittenton House project will receive a credit amount of $520,000 toward a $2.6 million conversion of the mansion to use as rental apartments. The Eastwick Motor Company is receiving $453,968 toward an estimated $6.1 million conversion of the 1914 Ford dealership for use as an arts organization center and restaurant.

In Cambridge, a project rehabilitating a commercial building at 511 Poplar St. will receive $45,000 toward the $225,000 cost of converting the building for retail and residential use.

In Cumberland, Footer's Dye Works is receiving $1.9 million toward a $7.9 million conversion of an industrial facility to a commercial restaurant and apartments.

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"One of the things that they all share, the common thread, is good preservation practices, combined with promise of local economic return," said Elizabeth Hughes, Deputy Director of the Maryland Historical Trust.

The Sustainable Communities Tax Credit program has invested nearly $360 million over the past 17 years to help restore more than 3,800 commercial and more than 600 residential properties. 

In 2015, the Maryland Historical Trust estimates that the program will create 894 jobs after creating more than 26,000 jobs since its inception in 1996.

"This tax credit is one part of of our efforts to innovate, educate, and rebuild Maryland by repurposing empty buildings into active, vibrant sites for new businesses," Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement. "The Sustainable Communities Tax Credit is one of the most effective investment tools for strengthening our green economy, revitalizing critical historical sites, and creating family-supporting jobs for more Marylanders across our state." 

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