"CURA and Main Street would benefit from it," Brannon said. "In the Washington Street corridor, the only incentives we can offer are façade and sign grants. In terms of renovating a whole building, those grants are minimal."
The proposed district, which includes the south side of Washington Street, has lots of historic properties, she said: the former State Theater, now home to the W.Va. School Service Personnel; the Bluegrass Kitchen building; the New China building; the Frutcake building; and the Charmco building near Power Park.
"Washington won't stand on its own [as a historic district] because there are too many holes, but if you attach it to Jackson Street and the blocks north, it could become eligible," Brannon said.
Edwards said there are different levels of benefits to historic listing.
"There's the intangible benefit to historic recognition. Sometimes people aren't aware of what they have until research is done and it's listed on the [historic] register. Then developers and even homeowners can be attracted, because there can be improvements. It's improved historic districts all over the country."
CURA could benefit, too. "If we decide to actually renovate a property [ourselves], we can partner with banks that would be interested in investing in the tax credits. That would be a way to bring in the equity a lender would want."
Also Wednesday, board members agreed to adopt a CURA vision statement, mission statement and list of annual project plan priorities for its urban renewal districts. The group drafted the documents during a special planning meeting in August.
Among the top priorities: East End -- facilitate the development of a grocery store; West Side -- cooperate with the Charleston Sanitary Board with separation of storm and sanitary sewer lines to prevent flooding; Smith/Shrewsbury area -- commercial redevelopment (such as an office park) near the Christopher Street interstate off-ramp; and Charleston EDGE -- assist the development of a housing project on the former Holley Hotel site.
Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.