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Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is committed to preserving and sustaining the vibrant communities of the Eastern Shore and the lands and waters that connect them.

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McCord Tag

Why Eastern Shore residents should care about saving the Historic Tax Credit

Caught up in the current effort to reform the federal tax code is a critical program that has completed nearly $25 million worth of rehabilitated historic buildings on Maryland’s Eastern Shore since 2002. The Federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) is a 20% credit on the cost of rehabilitating a historic building and is a powerful and efficient tool for revitalizing our nation’s small towns and cities. For every $1 invested by the federal government, the program attracts nearly $4 in private investment. Better yet, for every $1 in credits, the program returns $1.20 to the federal treasury – actually yielding a profit for the government. The results have been stunning and have changed the outlook for many communities. On Maryland’s Eastern Shore the program has a long history of revitalizing communities while also saving important historic buildings. Since 2002, in Easton alone the program has incentivized the rehabilitation of $10 million worth of buildings – from main street shops to former industrial buildings. A perfect example is the McCord Laundry facility, home to the Eastern Shore Conservation Center – a mixed-use campus of nonprofit organizations, businesses, and apartments. In Cambridge, the program is supporting the rebirth of Race Street, providing critical equity to make the rehabilitation of the Hearn Hardware Building a reality. The formerly vacant and crumbling building will now host market rate apartments and first floor retail space; yet another positive outcome thanks to the Historic Tax Credit. Elsewhere in Cambridge, the Historic Tax Credit is incentivizing an ambitious and potentially catalytic project that will convert the vacant Phillips Packing Co.’s Factory F into a hub of commerce, industry, and education. Without the Historic Tax Credit and the New Market Tax Credit program, which is also seriously threatened, tackling difficult projects like this in rural communities would not be possible. Repeal of

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Congressman Van Hollen visits Conservation Center

ESLC and partners of the Eastern Shore Conservation Center (ESCC) were happy to recently welcome Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD, 8th District) as he toured areas of particular interest around the Eastern Shore. ESLC's Executive Director Rob Etgen, along with various staff members, provided a tour of the Center and gave insight into some of the key projects we are currently working on. Projects discussed included the "Reimagining of Chesterfield (Carter Farm)" effort in Centreville, the Phillips "Factory F" revitalization effort in Cambridge, and our ongoing coastal resiliency program. Rep. Van Hollen also spoke with ESCC tenants/partners Bishop Joel Johnson of the Oaks of Mamre Library and consultant Kathy Bosin. ESLC and its partners welcome all elected officials and interested groups to tour the Conservation Center. Please contact Facilities Manager Owen Bailey at 410.690.4603 for more information.  

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ESLC awarded for excellence in organizational leadership by Maryland Historical Trust!

On March 16th in Annapolis, the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) celebrated the state's best efforts in historic preservation during the 41st Maryland Preservation Awards. The MHT Board of Trustees recognized outstanding education, restoration and revitalization projects, as well as organizational leadership. ESLC proudly accepted MHT's award for 'Outstanding Organizational Leadership' - one of only 11 projects/groups to be awarded. (Pictured, from left to right: ESLC Center for Towns Director Katie Parks; Easton Town Councilmember Pete Lesher; ESLC Board President Benjamin Tilghman; ESLC Board Member Dave Harp; Maryland State Senator Addie Eckardt; and ESLC Executive Director Rob Etgen) "In addition to protecting land with archeological sites and cultural landscapes, this conservation organization has expanded its programs to include planning in historic towns and recently rehabilitated a historic industrial building as its headquarters." -MHT

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Cross Street Partners to help with Eastern Shore Conservation Center

QUEENSTOWN – Eastern Shore Land Conservancy contracted with Cross Street Partners, a real estate consulting company that counts among its projects Baltimore’s Food Hub, Harbor East and Belvedere Square, for assistance with the Eastern Shore Conservation Center. The company will provide financial advisory services, including polishing the project’s budget as ESLC prepares to close on a tax credit, representing ESLC as it pursues federal historic tax credits, and help with post-closing accounting needs. “I have seen the Baltimore work of Bill Struever and Cross Street Partners and it is amazing,” said ESLC Executive Director Rob Etgen. “They take beat up historic industrial buildings and turn them into vibrant, stimulating hubs of economic and community activities – and always with a focus on local food and sustainability.  Cross Street Partners is an ideal part of our team for revitalization of the McCord and Brick Row buildings into the Eastern Shore Conservation Center.” ESLC officially broke ground Friday, July 18, on the Eastern Shore Conservation Center. The design and renovation of the former McCord and Brick Row buildings will cost about $7.6 million. To date, ESLC has raised $5 million. The LEED-certified campus will be home to ESLC headquarters, as well as other conservation and community-centered nonprofits. A café, a courtyard open to the public, and meeting rooms will make this a community conservation center. The dilapidated and abandoned McCord building and neighboring Brick Row, which was damaged by fire, will become a place for nonprofit collaboration and will revitalize a forgotten section of South Washington Street. Other than financial advisory services, Cross Street Partners offers property and asset management, master planning and development service, construction management and general contracting, retail merchandising strategies, and marketing services. The firm also served as the owner’s representative for the Under Armour Headquarters/Visitors Center and Skywalk in Locust Point and provided development, retail

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ESLC to Break Ground on Eastern Shore Conservation Center

EASTON – Join Eastern Shore Land Conservancy for a groundbreaking with Gov. Martin O’Malley at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center on S. Washington Street. O’Malley dedicated $1 million toward the historic renovation project in his FY2014 capital budget. The ceremony begins at 3 p.m. Friday, July 18, at the site of the former McCord building and neighboring Brick Row, the buildings that will become part of the Eastern Shore Conservation Center campus. Also speaking will by former Gov. Harry Hughes, EPA Region III Administrator Shawn Garvin, and ESLC Capital Campaign co-Chairman Jenny Stanley. ESLC since 1990 has helped protect more than 56,000 acres of farms, forests and wetlands. As the organization approached its 20th year, ESLC leaders realized Eastern Shore farms and forests are supported by and support Eastern Shore towns. The Shore’s unique rural communities can continue to thrive with the help of green infrastructure design, outdoor recreational opportunity, and access to local foods. ESLC has the resources and years of experience to recommend and implement good design and to help counsel community leaders about keeping towns great places to live, work, and play. To that end, ESLC broadened its mission to include these things and is leading by example with the concept of the Eastern Shore Conservation Center. ESLC will leave its home in the beautiful woods, near the Wye River, and put their stake in a vulnerable area of the Town of Easton. In addition to bringing ESLC staff and skills to the community, ESLC leaders envision a new day for the community and for nonprofit collaboration. The historic McCord Laundry Building and Brick Row are part of Easton’s National Register Historic District. Though currently abandoned, they are beautiful examples of early 20th Century commercial architecture. The project is design to have a catalytic effect on the South Washington Street corridor, where the

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