Historic Altoona building to receive tax credit for preservation

Local News

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — An abandoned building in downtown Altoona is going to be revitalized after sitting vacant for more than a decade.

The old Vipond’s Appliance Store building located at 1425 Eleventh Avenue will receive a $175,000 tax credit from the Wolf Administration towards converting the building into modern office spaces. The awarded credit will reportedly generate an estimated $4,029,510 in construction expenses for the building.

The building served as Altoona’s first location for both Sears Roebuck & Co. and J.C. Penney. It later served as a home for the Social Security Administration and Bingo Palace before closing as Vipond`s Appliance Store.

The tax credit is part of a program by the Wolf Administration to help preserve 27 historic buildings across Pennsylvania. An allocated $5 million in tax credits by the state will reportedly create an estimated $215 million in construction projects.

“The Historic Preservation Tax Credit encourages revitalization of distressed communities, preservation of state and local heritage, and long-term economic development,” said Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Executive Director Andrea Lowery. “The 27 projects awarded this year yield long-term benefits beyond the projects themselves, having significant positive spillover effects through the reuse of historic buildings in Pennsylvania cities and towns.”

The Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, administered by the Department of Community & Economic Development and Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission since 2013, has invested more than $28 million to rehabilitate 154 historic buildings leveraging a total $2 billion in construction costs.

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