The historic Sibley Building finds new life with redevelopment

Client need

What do you do with a historic building with one million square feet of underutilized space? That is a question community leaders in Rochester, New York needed to solve with the Sibley Building. As the project’s developer, WinnDevelopment had the challenge of transforming the once largest department store in America into useful space in today’s economy. Their plans included transforming the Sibley Building to add retail, office, a business incubator, apartments, and active senior living homes to create a mixed-use, innovative space. Built in 1905, the Sibley Building offered an ideal location in the center of the city with opportunities to take advantage of available tax credits and incentives. To complete the $69 million needed for the commercial and market rate apartment component of the building, WinnDevelopment looked to all available financing options to make the project a reality. 

Baker Tilly solution

Baker Tilly collaborated with WinnDevelopment to provide New Markets Tax Credit and Historic Tax Credit advisory services to source the NMTC allocation, provide financial structuring, and ultimately close the project NMTC and HTC financing. Our team worked closely with the development teams on financial models, identifying available funds, negotiations, and community impact assessments. In addition, we worked with state and federal stakeholders to obtain available Historic Tax Credits for the redevelopment of the historic landmark. 


The project finance team at Baker Tilly worked closely with WinnDevelopment to identify, structure, and utilize more than $42 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation from four Community Development Entities. Our Historic Tax Credit team also provided modeling and structuring for the use of $12.7 million of state and federal Historic Tax Credits. These two primary sources of tax credits along with other loan programs closed the funding structure that allowed the redevelopment project to become a reality.   Overall, the Sibley project will create more than 1,500 construction jobs and more than 1,000 permanent jobs as a strong economic driver in the area.

For more information on this deal, or to learn how Baker Tilly Capital specialists can help, contact our team.

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