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Adaptive Reuse of Historic Virginia Tobacco Factory Buildings

News | May 31, 2019


Kutak Rock partners Margot Wickman and Joseph Fuller and associate Asher Ball represented Community Affordable Housing Equity Corporation (CAHEC) as low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) and historic tax credit (HTC) counsel in connection with the redevelopment of the Old and New Perry Buildings in Petersburg, Virginia.  The two warehouse buildings are part of a campus formerly housing the Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corporation plant.  The redevelopment, known as Petersburg ArtistSpace, is the final phase of the adaptive reuse of the campus and will convert the buildings into a mixed-use facility containing 226 affordable artist lofts and several artist studios.

The project used municipal tax-exempt bond financing, an interest rate cap swap transaction, Virginia state LIHTC and HTC equity financing, the income-averaging set-aside, a master lease governing the commercial studio space, and a condominium structure intended to maximize available real estate tax abatement.  As the site of a former tobacco processing and production plant, the transaction also required extensive diligence regarding environmental matters and compliance with the Virginia voluntary remediation program.

The project is expected to be fully completed by October 2020.  It is the largest transaction CAHEC has closed since its creation in 1992.

Financing in the transaction was also provided by the Petersburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust Company, Moxie Finance, LLC, together with Virginia Housing and Development Authority tax credits.