David F. Schon

David Schon is chair of the firm’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit team. He represents diverse clients from institutional investors and mission driven lenders to for-profit developers and nonprofit project sponsors.

What do you focus on?


I focus my practice on tax advantaged, triple-bottom-line investments that deliver economic, social and environmental benefits to sponsors and equity investors. Historic rehabilitation, new markets and renewable energy tax credits, opportunity zones and targeted investment funds are the tools I most often see in my work.

Placemaking, Sustainability and Impact

I see investments in historic buildings give people a sense of place and access to shared history that inspires people and capitalizes on local assets. Adaptive reuse of historic buildings brings long-term, sustainable investments that increase property values and promote healthy, vibrant communities. Impact focused investing can address social needs with capital markets vehicles.

Industry involvement

I speak at industry events and serve on boards and committees related to community development lending and tax credits. I see the disciplines of tax advantaged finance and impact investing as related tools that deliver financial returns and give more people access to a healthy, secure and meaningful life.

What do you see on the horizon?

I see more focus on measuring impact, considering stakeholders and using the capital markets to achieve a broader definition of economic success. I see more recognition of the unique potential of historic buildings as engines of economic development, the role of heritage in combatting climate change and more people seeking places to live where they can walk, bike or take transit to work. Sustainability, resilience and quality of life can go hand in hand.

Select Presentations

  • “Case Study,” Novogradac 2021 New Markets Tax Credit Virtual Conference, Webinar, January 2021
  • “Historic Functionally-Related Multiple Property Complexes,” MacRostie Historic Advisors' Conference, Webinar, November 2020
  • “Understanding Development Incentives,” Understanding Real Estate Development, Webinar, November 2020
  • “Deep Dive into NMTC Financing,” 2019 OFN Conference, Washington, DC, October 2019
  • “Case Study: Building 127 at Brooklyn Navy Yard,” Novogradac Historic Tax Credit Conference, St. Louis, MO, September 2019
  • “Basics Panel,” “Opportunity Zones Panel,” and “The View from the Investor,” IPED Annual Historic Tax Credit Summit, Washington, DC, June 2019 (panelist)
  • “Updates on Tax and Legal Issues Post Tax Reform/Opportunity Zones Update,” Historic Tax Credits for Rehabilitation—Challenges in Developing Mid-Twentieth Century Buildings conference, Los Angeles, CA, March 2019 (panelist)

Representative Experience

  • Represented project sponsors in the HTC financed rehabilitations of apartment buildings in Washington, DC
  • Represented the project sponsor in the HTC financed rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the Albert Kahn building in Detroit, Michigan
  • Represented the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation in multiple transactions rehabilitating industrial buildings using federal Historic and New Markets Tax Credits
  • Represented the project sponsor in the HTC financed rehabilitation of Cincinnati Union Terminal
  • Represented the project sponsor in the HTC financed rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of Manhattan’s Pier 57
  • Represented the investor and lender in an NMTC and RETC eligible transaction providing solar power to the Cincinnati Zoo
  • Represented the investor in a multi-property fund generating federal historic tax credits
  • Represented the investor in the HTC and NMTC financed rehabilitation of the David Whitney Building in Detroit, Michigan
  • Represented the investor in a series of NMTC eligible transactions financing facilities for health care, homeless services, start-up food businesses and mixed use development in several states


David F. Schon


Washington, DC

Phone: 202-585-8778

Fax: 202-585-8080

Wayne State University, J.D.

University of Michigan, B.A.

District of Columbia



U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

David serves on the board of directors of Preservation Action and on the loan advisory committee of Partners for the Common Good. He is also a member of the Project for Public Spaces leadership council and is an advisor at the Urban Consulate. He formerly served on the board of directors of the Michigan Historic Preservation Network.

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