Historic tax credits promote smart development

November 27, 2011

Jacques Kelly's article about the rebirth of Union Mill did a superb job of recognizing the innovative program that has driven Seawall Development's reuse of the historic property ("New tricks: Redone factory now homes," Nov. 23). This model project is a testament to the vision and generous spirits of Donald and Thibault Mannekin and their partner Evan Morville.

It probably would not have been possible, however, without the assistance of a small, but highly effective public program. Both Union Mill and its predecessor, Miller's Court, were approved by Gov. Martin O'Malley to receive tax credits under the state's Sustainable Communities Tax Credit Program administered by the Maryland Historical Trust. Both projects also received Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits which are jointly administered by the Trust and the National Park Service.

These world-class projects are prime examples of what Smart Growth really means. This is public re-investment targeted where costly infrastructure already exists and is paid for — within our existing communities.

J. Rodney Little, Crownsville

The writer is director of the Maryland Historical Trust.

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