Money recommended for downtown Augusta renovation

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The Downtown Develop­ment Authority of Augusta voted unanimously Thursday morning to recommend a project at 566 Broad St. for a Georgia Cities Foundation grant of $105,931.

Bryan Haltermann, a real estate developer and historic-preservation consultant, bought the building in the fall and is renovating it as a mixed-use facility. He estimated the cost of acquisition and renovation to be $264,000, but the Georgia Cities Foundation grant awards only up to 40 percent of a project’s cost.

Part of the space was formerly a car dealership and is equipped with several garage doors. Authority Treasurer Cameron Nixon said Haltermann will convert that into small rental storage spaces.

The front of the building is leased to Cafe 209, currently at 4 Eighth St. The restaurant is expected to open in the new place in the next week.

“It’s an interesting combination of retail and storage space,” Nixon said.

Haltermann estimates the project will be 90 percent complete by the end of January.

Margaret Woodard, the executive director of the authority, said she is pleased that businesses on lower Broad Street are taking advantage of grant opportunities offered by the state.

“This could really start some cleanup and some real effort on that side,” Woodard said.

The authority will send their recommendation to the Georgia Cities Foundation, which will then begin awarding Haltermann the money.

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Little Lamb
45889
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Little Lamb 01/12/12 - 11:33 am
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Transferring taxpayers money

Transferring taxpayers money to real estate developers is against all principles of the United States of America.

follower
59
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follower 01/12/12 - 12:21 pm
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LL, I totally agree. Why are

LL, I totally agree. Why are we subsidizing a private enterprise? Favorable loan rates...? Maybe. Tax incentives...? Maybe. Cash? NO!!

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 01/12/12 - 01:01 pm
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Wouldn't the alternative be

Wouldn't the alternative be to let the property sit idle and unused until it is deemed unusable and beyond repair. Then it is razed and the land waits for whatever? I'm tired of new buildings, especially when they aren't as aesthetic as the historical ones. But to save alot of time and the potential for fire/accidents, if we can't assist with getting the historical ones back in use by offering incentives, ala cash. Then just raze them all now. If there was a decent chance that someone with the cash was committed to coming to Augusta and rehabilitating the structure on their own dime, it would have happened already.

countyman
20120
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countyman 01/12/12 - 01:29 pm
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Downtown continues the trend

Downtown continues the trend of attracting private investmenta... The renovations continue to happen around the CBD and Olde Town... Can't for the urban infill developments similar to the Lofts at Marbury to start..

220-222 6th street-New apts, Dunbar Howard House-Twelve stuido apts in Olde Town, 967 Broad street-Four new apts, Whites Building-34 condos, Rice House at 1225 Greene street-New apts, Red Star building at 531 9th street-Four apts and retail space, etc...

Tim Rausch
8
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Tim Rausch 01/12/12 - 02:21 pm
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The Georgia Cities Foundation

The Georgia Cities Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, a non-profit subsidiary of the Georgia Municipal Association. It is funded through donations. The DDA acts as a pass through, so there is no transfer of taxpayer money to fund this development.

broadPOV
0
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broadPOV 01/12/12 - 02:33 pm
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Thank you Mr. Rausch for

Thank you Mr. Rausch for providing facts and evidence instead of speculation (little lamb and the properly named "follower").

Glad to see anything that lifts up downtown. Great area with an immense amount of potential. I just hope my job keeps me around here enough to see it flourish.

Riverman1
83757
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Riverman1 01/12/12 - 02:42 pm
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Interesting that so many

Interesting that so many nonprofit agencies see Augusta as place that needs donations.

mike71345
75
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mike71345 01/12/12 - 02:48 pm
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I'm looking at the Georgia

I'm looking at the Georgia Cities Foundation website, and so far the only info I can find about grants is "state-administered grants." Out of those, I don't see any that have a 40% cap on them. There is much about low-interest loans, but that grant information I just can't find. Does anyone know a link that explains the particular sort of grant mentioned in the article?

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 01/12/12 - 04:00 pm
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Appreciated Tim. Wasn't

Appreciated Tim. Wasn't paying attention.

Little Lamb
45889
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Little Lamb 01/12/12 - 04:26 pm
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I found this statement in the

I found this statement in the Georgia Cities Foundation web site from their 2009 Annual Report:

An initial challenge grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, coupled with other corporate and philanthropic support, has enabled the Georgia Cities Foundation (GCF) to leverage matching funds appropriated by the Georgia General Assembly to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). Since its creation, this partnership has, together with other corporate fundraising, generated $25 million in funding support; and $65.8 million in private investment.

So they tell you in one place that they receive funds from corporations, individuals and foundations. But then they use those donated funds to match government funds. I still stand by my original post. Taxpayer funds are being transferred to private individuals (but only those who are successful enough to be politically connected).

Dipshot
-5
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Dipshot 01/12/12 - 04:33 pm
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Typical for the DDA.. making

Typical for the DDA.. making sure their friends and cronies get givernment gravy

Riverman1
83757
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Riverman1 01/13/12 - 06:16 am
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I wonder how THEY decide who

I wonder how THEY decide who gets money?

Lori Davis
920
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Lori Davis 01/13/12 - 02:27 pm
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Harrisburg falls under DDA

Harrisburg falls under DDA and has received zero in any type of grants or funding. We were asked to submit to Margaret Woodard a couple of years back our wish list for Harrisburg which we did by the 5 o'clock hour that was our deadline that day,(we were given one day). We submitted our list of things that were reasonable like more lighting. We have yet to receive one dime form the DDA, or any reasonable amount of respect.

mike71345
75
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mike71345 01/13/12 - 02:35 pm
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I just talked to the director

I just talked to the director of the Georgia Cities Foundation. It turns out that the Chronicle should have said 'loan' every time it said 'grant.' Editor, please verify and correct.

Amy Henderson
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Amy Henderson 01/13/12 - 03:18 pm
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Thank you everyone for your

Thank you everyone for your interest in the Georgia Cities Foundation. Mike, you are correct that the GCF does not award grants; instead, the GCF provides low interest loans to qualified projects. The process for receiving a grant is like receiving a bank loan, including underwriting, and recipients are expected to pay back the full amount of the loan plus the interest.

Low-interest loans are also available to applicants through the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA). When the Georgia Cities Foundation was originally established more than 10 years ago, the Woodruff Foundation awarded the GCF a $9 million grant, provided that the state made the same funding committment to the DCA's revolving loan fund. Over a three year period, the state allocated the $9 million to the state program, and GCF received the grant from the Woodruff Foundation. Applicants for GCF loans can apply for both a GCF loan and a DCA loan, but they are separate programs and funding sources. Today, the Georgia Cities Foundation loans are made possible through donations and repayment of earlier loans.

I hope that addresses some of the concerns posters have brought up here.
Amy Henderson
Georgia Municipal Association

Sean Moores
370
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Sean Moores 01/13/12 - 03:28 pm
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We are checking into this and

We are checking into this and will post a correction shortly.

mike71345
75
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mike71345 01/14/12 - 12:31 am
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Thanks, Amy! That makes

Thanks, Amy! That makes things a lot clearer.

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