Burr Helps to Protect Past While Building for the Future
Most of the time, South Carolina’s Bailey Bill is used to protect history. By offering tax incentives for restoring historic buildings, the state statute encourages cities and counties to preserve valuable pieces of the past.
Thanks to an innovative approach by Burr attorney Adam Artigliere, the law is also being used to protect investments in the future. Through a close partnership with private developers and the City of Greenville, Artigliere championed the use of Bailey Bill incentives for affordable housing.
“It’s one of the first times the Bailey Bill has been applied in this way,” Artigliere said. “There really are not that many mechanisms to attract developers to build and maintain affordable housing, so we’re excited about this new approach.”
To make it work, Artigliere relied on close relationships with city attorneys, economic development staff, county council members, and the South Carolina Department of Revenue. While state law mentions affordable housing alongside historic preservation as grounds for tax incentives, the precise rules were less clear.
Fortunately, as a former county attorney and an experienced negotiator in commercial real estate transactions, Artigliere was well-positioned to sort out the policy and business challenges.
“What counts as affordable? Who gets to make that decision? And how do you honor the intent of the state law while preserving a level of local control?” he asked. “Affordable housing is a big issue for a lot of municipalities in South Carolina and all over the country. We knew other cities would be looking to this as a model, so we wanted to work very carefully with everyone involved to sort it all out.”
The immediate result of that patience and policy savvy is Greenville Summit, a project offering more than 100 units of affordable housing in the high-demand downtown area. The new development is covered by a 20-year tax abatement that made it viable for investors and sustainable for residents.
The longer-term outcome of Burr’s work on Greenville Summit is a whole new toolkit for cities and towns to encourage a mix of housing and income levels in fast-growing districts. Artigliere’s cooperative and methodical approach won strong support from city officials. Other towns across the state are now considering similar projects.
“It’s about building those trust relationships,” Artigliere said. “We were all committed to doing this right.”