Mayors Announces Support For Revitalizing Downtowns Act

Published on September 01, 2021

After U.S. Conference Of Mayors Announces Support For Revitalizing Downtowns Act, Bronin And Larson Call For Congress To Act

HARTFORD, CONN (September 1, 2021) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin, Congressman John B. Larson, and David Griggs, President and CEO of the MetroHartford Alliance, called on Congress to pass the Revitalizing Downtowns Act, federal legislation co-sponsored by Congressman Larson to create a 20% tax credit for expenses to convert office buildings to residential, commercial, or mixed-use properties. Yesterday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the legislation.

As a result of the pandemic, businesses of all sizes are expected to change their work patterns and business practices, and many cities will experience commercial vacancies as corporate tenants resize their physical footprint.  This tax credit would incentivize investment to convert unused office buildings into residential, commercial, and mixed-use properties.  Qualifying residential conversion would be required to incorporate affordable housing.  

“Hartford is going to compete for companies that are rethinking where they want to locate, and we also want to continue aggressively pursuing the residential and mixed-use development that has been so successful here,” said Mayor Luke Bronin.  “The fact that the U.S. Conference of Mayors is now supporting this legislation is a powerful signal that cities across the country understand that we need to be creative as we work to build back better.  We are aggressively pursuing growth and economic development in Hartford as we recover from the pandemic, and part of that is attracting more people to live in Hartford – and we continue to see strong demand for the residential units that are being built.  All of the successful redevelopment projects in Hartford have used a combination of funding sources, and this tax credit would be another important tool as we navigate a new landscape.  Congressman Larson has been a national leader on this issue because he recognizes that an active capital city is vital to our region’s growth, and I’m very grateful to him for being an early, consistent champion on this legislation.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated downtowns across the country, and as more companies adopt hybrid work models, cities like Hartford are facing building vacancies in a way that we have not seen before,” said Congressman Larson.  “Along with several of my colleagues, I introduced the Revitalizing Downtowns Act to spur commercial growth and expand urban housing options. The Qualified Office Conversion Tax Credit will be a giant step forward toward making cities friendlier for small businesses and more affordable for residents. I commend Mayor Bronin and the Greater Hartford Metro Alliance for their advocacy and leadership.”

“Hartford has made remarkable strides in recent years by developing housing that has added new residents, bringing increased vibrancy and activity to our city,” said David Griggs, President and CEO of the MetroHartford Alliance.  “Given the disruption that COVID-19 has brought to many traditional workplaces, it is critical that developers and city leaders have the flexibility and financial resources to transform what may become vacant office space into new, attractive housing options.  The MetroHartford Alliance appreciates the leadership of Congressman Larson, Mayor Bronin, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in advancing legislation that will benefit not only the City of Hartford, but communities around the nation.”

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