Expanding Your Architectural Services: Become an Historic Rehabilitation Economic Incentives Consultant

Originally Published 2010

By Gary L. Cole AIA, Esq.

On July 8, 2010 at 12:00 p.m., Gary L. Cole AIA, Esq. will present before the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Historic Resources Committee at 35 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 250 Chicago, IL “Expanding Your Services: Become an Historic Rehabilitation Economic Incentives Consultant.” See http://www.aiachicago.org/events.asp for the AIA Chicago’s announcement.

The intent of the presentation is to expose architects to new ways of expanding their services by building on their core skills while acquiring new ones, based on Mr. Cole’s experiences in historic preservation as both an architect and an attorney. Architects involved in historic rehabilitation projects may be missing out on significant opportunities to enhance their practices and boost their fees by assisting developers in obtaining historic development incentives.

Many historic rehabilitation projects succeed or fail depending on their ability . . . to maximize available development incentives, like the historic tax credits. Yet, despite being integral to the process of obtaining those incentives, many architects shy away from helping clients qualify for them, often referring that work to “consultants” who lack their detailed understanding of these projects. But the good news is that there’s no great mystery in obtaining the skills and knowledge necessary to become an expert in historic development incentives – most architects already have or can easily acquire them.

Architects who assist their clients in obtaining historic development incentives to pay for projects may expand their range of professional services, increase project compensation and enhance their reputations in the development community, thereby gaining a competitive edge over their competition.

The Learning Objectives for the presentation are:

1. Understand what historic development incentives are and how they impact project economics.

2. Learn how to research and combine available historic development incentives for any project.

3. Learn the basics of dealing with local, state and federal preservation agencies when applying for historic development incentives, including interpreting the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards correctly and in a project’s best interest.

4. Learn how to correctly describe the scope of these new professional services, structure fees, limit professional liability and identify other professionals and consultants who may be needed.

Gary L. Cole AIA, Esq. is an historic preservation architect and an attorney, a former Visiting Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois, an expert in historic preservation law and has worked with many types of historic development incentives for the past eighteen years. He publishes timely articles about a wide range of design, construction, historic preservation, green building and accessibility issues at www.lawarkbuilding.com.

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