Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen, Upham’s Corner, Dorchester
The preservation of historic buildings is not only about the redevelopment and rehabilitation of the building structure. It also includes the need to find compatible uses and, within the historic tax credit structure, income generating businesses in a rental structure – therefore tenants. In addition, given that many historic buildings in neighborhood business districts have small size retail spaces, the work of preservation often follows the path of small startups or what are often called “micro” businesses which are generally defined as single owner-operator enterprises that typically have less than 10 employees.
Finding the operators of these micro businesses for historic rehabilitation projects can be challenging and their business models are often risky which is why, in part, market driven real estate developers are often not interested in the smaller historic redevelopment projects. So a preservation partnership model that couples non-profit preservation real estate developers with micro-business entrepreneurs through the work of an organization that provides financial support for both the real estate developer and technical assistance for the business owner can leverage the capacity and skills of all partners to maximize the potential for greater success and effectiveness in neighborhood redevelopment and revitalization.