Giving History a Tax Break

The Dallas City Council's Economic Development Committee opted to skip this morning's inauguration and actually hold a meeting, maybe because the committee has plenty on its plate -- including, after months of debate and discussion, the installation of streaming-video signs in downtown. There's another biggie on the table too: using federal tax credits to foster the development of "business and real estate developments in Low Income Neighborhoods" in Southern Dallas.

This item also piqued my interest: the discussion of offering increased historic tax incentives to three buildings, among them 501 Second Avenue (in the Hickory Street Annex), 507 S. Harwood (the ca. 1941 Masonic Lodge and 1611 McKinney Avenue (the former Luna Tortilla Factory, a designated historic landmark on Preservation Dallas's Most Endangered List). All are seeking more than $50,000 in historic preservation tax incentives: For the Hickory Street building, owner Kaelson Company Properties is proposing to rehab the building for "retail/office use," while Triton Downtown LLC says it wants to turn the currently vacant Luna Tortilla Factory into a something appropriate for "commercial use."

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