Roundtable Weekly
Real Estate Coalition Urges House Members to Support Bipartisan CRE Conversions Bill
June 28, 2024

A Roundtable-led coalition of 17 national real estate organizations wrote to members of the House of Representatives voicing their support for the introduction of the Revitalizing Downtowns and Main Streets Act, which would create a market-based tax incentive for converting older commercial buildings to residential use.  (Coalition letter)

 Revitalizing Downtowns and Main Streets Act

  • The House Ways and Means Committee Members Mike Carey (R-OH) and Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) will introduce the Revitalizing Downtowns and Main Streets Act in the coming weeks.
  • If enacted, the bill would be a step forward in the effort to modernize U.S. real estate, create new and affordable housing, and strengthen cities and neighborhoods that continue to suffer from the aftereffects of the pandemic and changing business needs. 
  • Currently, only 2% of vacant offices are undergoing the conversion process (CBRE). However, 15% of office buildings are suitable for residential conversion. (White House, Oct. 2023)
  • The bill would create a new and temporary 20% tax credit for qualified property conversion expenditures, modeled after the historic rehabilitation credit.
  • The total credit authority would be limited to $15 billion, allocated by state housing finance agencies based on feasibility and impact.
  • Larger credits would be available for projects in rural areas, low-income census tracts, and economically distressed areas.

Roundtable Advocacy

The Roundtable’s Tax Policy Advisory Committee Meeting
  • The Real Estate Roundtable has supported similar versions of conversion legislation, such as the Revitalizing Downtowns Act (S. 2511H.R. 4759), introduced by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) to encourage the conversion of older buildings into new uses.
  • The new bill addresses and incorporates most of the recommendations the coalition made collectively to the Revitalizing Downtowns Act in the October 2022 letter.  (June 2024 letter  | October 2022 letter)
  • Since then, many states and localities have taken bold action to support property conversion efforts.
  • Both letters are the product of a property conversions working group created by The Roundtable’s Tax Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC). The working group has reviewed and considered the challenges and impediments confronting potential property conversion activities. 

The Roundtable’s Tax Policy Advisory Committee will continue to respond to legislative proposals affecting potential property conversion activities.