Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Receives $1.3M Tax Credit - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Receives $1.3M Tax Credit

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The Eastern Shore Conservation Center (Courtesy: Eastern Shore Land Conservancy) The Eastern Shore Conservation Center (Courtesy: Eastern Shore Land Conservancy)
EASTON, Md. - The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy says it has received a New Markets Tax Credit, netting about $1.3 million for the Eastern Shore Conservation Center renovations in Easton.

According to the ESLC, New Markets Tax Credits are federal tax credits for investments in economic development projects and businesses in distressed neighborhoods.

"This credit is a huge step toward completing the Eastern Shore Conservation Center," said ESLC Executive Director Rob Etgen. "And it reminds us of the heart of this project - not only is it a conservation center, a place for collaboration among organizations; it is a community center, a place where people can gather for educational programming, or to relax with a cup of coffee. It's an exciting time for our organization and for conservation on Maryland's Eastern Shore."

The ESLC officially broke ground Friday, July 18, on the Eastern Shore Conservation Center. The design and renovation of the historic McCord and Brick Row buildings will cost about $7.6 million. To date, ESLC says it has raised $6.3 million.

The ESLC said 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, according to the ESLC.

The former laundry warehouse was abandoned and in disrepair when ESLC took ownership, according to the ESLC Communications Manager Sarah Pearce. Pearce says Brick Row, which was damaged by a fire in late 2012, was donated to ESLC by Helaine White of Easton.

The ESLC says noticeable construction in this section of South Washington Street should begin on the property in the coming weeks.

Since 1990, the ESLC has helped protect more than 56,000 acres of farms, forests and wetlands.

The ESLC said the project will bring about 50 jobs to downtown Easton and will serve as an example for conservationists, urban planning, community design and redevelopment experts of what can be done to retain healthy, walkable and economically sustainable rural towns.
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