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Top Considerations for Financing Historic Renovations – Commercial Property Executive

December 14, 2016

Brian Rockey of Peoples Bank examines considerations for developers seeking to take on historic renovations.

By Brian Rockey | Commercial Property Executive

Brian Rockey, VP Commercial Loan OfficerHistoric building renovations are an important way to preserve a community’s character and old-world charm. Unfortunately, rising real estate costs, especially in the urban core, are making it increasingly difficult for developers to invest the time, resources and energy for these types of projects. Many banks are also cautious about taking on these projects due to heightened complexity and risk. As a banker, one of the most rewarding parts of my job is working with developers on historic renovation projects that can revitalize and enhance a community, or even just a small block of a larger neighborhood.

I am originally from Seattle but lived in downtown Chicago for five years, a city full of well-preserved historic buildings. I also lived in Oak Park for another five years, a suburb of Chicago that is an exceptional example of a community that supported economic growth while preserving the history and culture of the community. I moved back to Seattle in 2006. Today, the city is grappling with a growing housing crisis brought on by skyrocketing real estate prices. In areas like South Lake Union, home to Amazon’s expanding urban campus, old “blocky” warehouses are being replaced with dense vertical office and residential buildings. Elsewhere, historic Seattle neighborhoods like Capitol Hill and Pioneer Square are working hard to preserve their distinct character, and Peoples Bank has had the opportunity to finance commercial renovation projects in these communities.  Read more..