Colorado Main Street has launched the Heritage Energy Pilot Project. The Heritage Energy Pilot Project offers interagency collaboration to combine quality historic preservation in Colorado Main Street districts with statewide energy goals.
DOLA’s Colorado Main Street program is working with the Colorado Energy Office and History Colorado’s State Historic Preservation Office, creating a Heritage Energy Leadership Partnership (HELP) team to facilitate access to incentives and technical assistance for the preservation and sustainable reinvestment of unique cultural landmarks in rural downtowns.
In rural towns, Main Street districts have long been the heart of community life and a key to their economic success. Although these places offer an iconic image of our local heritage, they are notoriously hard to reach with either historic preservation or energy efficiency incentives. Property owners frequently see these opportunities as time-consuming, confusing, and full of red tape. The Heritage Energy Pilot will streamline processes and infuse state agency incentives and technical assistance to catalyze increased public-private investment in rural communities.
The HELP team will work intensively with two pilot projects, one public and one private, to integrate existing resources such as historic tax credits, History Colorado State Historical Fund
grants, Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing, Energy Performance Contracting for public owned properties, and utility incentives, into quality, environmentally sustainable preservation. These pilot projects will help develop a refined cost-savings strategy and timeline for future building infrastructure improvement projects to incorporate energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities into preservation projects.
Nominations were solicited from Main Street communities across the state, with three projects selected: the Fox Theatre in Trinidad, the Bank Building in Ridgway, and the Herald-Democrat Building in Leadville.
Outcomes will include the preservation of community heritage, enhancements to local economic development, reductions of energy consumption within the buildings, and improvements to the local carbon footprints. A successful pilot will lead to a roll-out of a similar project across the state. This will lead to more vibrant Main Street districts, greater economic resilience, healthier living and working environments for owners and tenants, lower operating costs, and measurable greenhouse gas reduction.
Main Street: Open for Business
The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) with funding from SB21-252 will support efforts by local governments and regional collaborations to engage in small business relief through “Main Street: Open for Business.” This Initiative supports façade improvements and energy efficiency projects for businesses in the state’s traditional downtowns.
Because of the direct alignment with the Heritage Energy Project Pilot, $750,000 of these funds will be dedicated to these already competitively selected projects.
Larry Lucas, Main Street Architect