Developer awarded tax credits for Baxter Building renovation

AUSTIN — After nearly two years, developers plan to launch the $4.3 million renovatation of Harlingen’s tallest eyesore.

This morning, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs awarded developers MRE Capital more than $3 million in federal tax credits to help fund the renovation of the nine-story Baxter Building.

The agency’s board granted MRE Capital’s appeal after denying the developer tax credits last month.

MRE Capital plans to turn the building into a 24-unit apartment development largely made up of low-income housing. As part of the project, the develop will renovate the 1927 office building into its original condition.

Mayor Chris Boswell had turned the project into one of his administration’s biggest goals.

Boswell has called the project to renovate one of the city biggest eyesores critical to the continued revitalization of the downtown area.

In late 2015, the city entered into an agreement with MRE Capital to renovate the Baxter Building. As part of an agreement, the developers will pay the Harlingen Community Improvement Board $250,000 for the Baxter Building while investing $4.3 million to restore it.