Historic Building Programs

The City of Frederick is fortunate to boast a living, breathing historic district. The beautiful, two-and-a-half century old streets lay stage to a booming business sector and a thriving arts & entertainment scene. A commitment to maintain the City's unique and vibrant character runs deep within our community, and is encouraged by a multitude of incentive programs at the City, State, and Federal level.

The following is a list of some of the major historic incentives City business owners at historic locations should keep on their radar.

Historic Building

City Historic Incentives

Historic Preservation Property Tax Credit

  • Eligibility: Rehabilitation work (totaling at least $500) to the exterior both commercial and residential buildings located within the Historic District Overlay. The project must have prior HPC approval - unless the work is eligible by the Minor Rehabilitation List (PDF). View a comprehensive overview of the types of eligible work (PDF). Labor costs of a project are only eligible when completed by licensed contractors.
  • Benefits: a City property tax credit for 25% of eligible work, up to a maximum of $7,500
  • Application: Applications are due by April 1st following the calendar year in which the expenditures were incurred; be sure to keep copies of your receipts, as they will be required within your application
  • Full program details (PDF)
  • Download Application (PDF)

Facade Improvement Grant Programs

Administered by the Downtown Frederick Partnership, Golden Mile Alliance, and East Frederick Rising

  • Eligibility: Facade improvement projects to businesses located in one of three program areas
  • Benefits: 1 to 1 match on qualified exterior facade improvements up to $10,000 (up to $23,500 in Golden Mile area)
  • Application: Contact administering organization directly for specific application procedure
  • Full program details: 

Downtown Frederick's Mission: Interior Grant 

Administered by the Downtown Frederick Partnership

  • Eligibility: Interior improvement projects to businesses located in Downtown Frederick
  • Benefits: 1 to 1 match on qualified interior improvements up to $5,000
  • Application: Contact Downtown Frederick Partnership at 301-698-8118 for application procedure
  • Full program details

State of Maryland Historic Incentives: 

Competitive Commercial - Tax Credit

  • Eligibility: Renovation work performed on commercial buildings that are certified as historic according to MHT standards. Proposed work must meet the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. As the name suggests, submissions for this program are ranked against each other and the credit is ultimately awarded to the highest priority projects.
  • Benefits: A state income tax credit up to 20% of the eligible expenses (up to a total of $3 million); an additional 5% credit may be earned for high performance properties that achieve a LEED gold certification
  • Application: State tax credit programs require application prior to the commencement of rehabilitation work. The MHT review period typically runs approximately 30 to 45 days. Applications are due August 31st. Contact MHT's Tax Credit Program Administrator for more information: 410-697-9558.
  • Full program details

Small Commercial - Tax Credit

  • Eligibility: Renovation work performed on commercial buildings that are certified as historic according to MHT standards. Proposed work must meet the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Small commercial rehabilitation may not exceed $500,000 in expenses and the credit is capped at $50,000 in a 24-month period. A building may not be used for more than 75% residential rental purposes.
  • Benefits: a state income tax credit up to 20% of qualified rehabilitation expenditures.
  • Application: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the annual program cap is reached. For more information, contact MHT's Preservation Officer at 410-697-9560.
  • Full program details

Federal Historic Incentives:

Certified Rehabilitation of Certified Historic Structures - Tax Credit

Non Historic, Non Residential Buildings Built Before 1936 - Tax Credit

  • Eligibility: Substantial commercial rehabilitation projects (exceeding $5000) of buildings placed in service before 1946. The program has specific physical tests for retention of external walls and internal structural framework it must also meet. 
  • Benefits: a 10% federal income tax credit on eligible project expenses
  • Application: Owners are encouraged to apply before they start; Maryland's State Historic Preservation Office serves as a contact point for these federal incentives and can provide appropriate application information.
  • Full program details