Augusta Economy

More News | Fort Gordon | Plant Vogtle | Savannah River Site | Editor

Downtown projects hit foundation's loan limit

Foundation cap hit, bringing call for repayments

  • Follow Local Business

Any future projects in downtown Augusta that receive funding through the Geor­gia Cities Foundation will likely be on hold until September.

A project to turn the former Vine Inn in Olde Town into studio apartments received funding approval from a foundation, but it took the city to its borrowing limit.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
A project to turn the former Vine Inn in Olde Town into studio apartments received funding approval from a foundation, but it took the city to its borrowing limit.

Map View

Javascript is required to view this map.

Low-interest loans issued through the foundation will be stalled until money from outstanding loans is repaid and cycled back into the program. The city hit its cap in June after an application was approved to convert a former bed-and-breakfast at 334 Greene St. into 10 studio apartments, said Mar­garet Woodard, the executive director of the Downtown Develop­­ment Authority.

As of May 31, nearly $945,000 loaned for seven renovation projects downtown was owed back to the foundation, said Alan Dicker­son, the community development manager for the foundation.

“A lot of loans have been approved, but they haven’t started paying them back yet because you get the money when the work is completed,” Woodard said. “That is the challenge right now, but we should be in good shape in the fall.”

The authority acts as a liaison for developers wishing to use a $250,000 loan by recommending the project to the foundation, which then awards funds. Approved projects should spur further development, add jobs, promote downtown housing or enhance the cultural
enrichment of the community, according to the foundation.

Three renovation projects in Augusta are pending until more funds are available, Dickerson said.

Rome, with 13 renovation projects funded by the foundation, was the only Georgia city with more activity than Augusta. Thomasville and Macon had figures similar to Augusta’s, according to Dickerson.

Loans must be fully repaid in 10 to 15 years and are typically done in monthly payments, he said.

More than $15 million has been loaned by the foundation for 90 projects in 47 cities. The loans can be used for buying property, rehabilitating buildings, new construction, and providing green space and parks.

Woodard said it’s a good incentive for more mixed-use developments to come downtown.

Projects approved locally include live-retail space at the Johnson Building at 758 Broad St. and a mixed-use facility with a restaurant and small rental storage units at 566 Broad St.

“It’s great because in today’s world of financing, it’s the gap that we need in order to get projects completed,” Woodard said. “We’re
seeing a tremendous amount of activity going on right now.”

Another funding tool, a federal loan, is available to developers through the foundation if the project is 51 percent owner-occupied, Woodard added.

More local companies are taking advantage of state and federal tax credits accessible for rehab projects in historic districts. Historic Augusta reports about 25 applications underway for historic tax credits in Augusta – the most since the organization was founded in 1965, said Tennent Houston, the chairman of the group’s preservation committee.

“The economics in the last few years have become to be very favorable for investing in older properties,” he said.

Comments (9) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Pops
14364
Points
Pops 07/12/13 - 05:45 pm
2
1
I guess the name

will be changing to 2 and a half guys burgers........

Riverman1
93613
Points
Riverman1 07/12/13 - 06:27 pm
4
2
A certain area better thank

Explains a lot. A certain area better thank the charity contributions and county government money.

Pops
14364
Points
Pops 07/12/13 - 06:39 pm
3
1
You can't be

talking bout the CDB????

LuvMyTown
2009
Points
LuvMyTown 07/12/13 - 08:30 pm
1
3
Glad Augusta is using all available funding

Keep the projects coming and the tax base growing.

Little Lamb
49004
Points
Little Lamb 07/12/13 - 08:43 pm
2
0
Hmmmm

From the story:

Any future projects in downtown Augusta that receive funding through the Geor­gia Cities Foundation will likely be on hold until September. Low-interest loans issued through the foundation will be stalled until money from outstanding loans is repaid and cycled back into the program. The Downtown Development Authority acts as a liaison for developers wishing to use a $250,000 loan by recommending the project to the foundation, which then awards funds.

Can anyone explain why the Downtown Development Authority has to be the middleman in this transaction? What value do they bring? Do they get a commission on the loans they recommend?

And for that matter, the way the story is written, the Georgia Cities Foundation appears to be a middleman also:

. . . receive funding through the Geor­gia Cities Foundation . . .

If the Georgia Cities Foundation actually had the money the sentence would read, “. . . receive funding from the Georgia Cities Foundation.” Is this a shell game or what?

Little Lamb
49004
Points
Little Lamb 07/12/13 - 08:42 pm
2
0
Lesson

I guess I should have learned my lesson: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

corgimom
38381
Points
corgimom 07/12/13 - 09:36 pm
1
0
Oh yeah, just what Broad St,

Oh yeah, just what Broad St, and Augusta needs, is another restaurant, so that another long-time restaurant can fail!

dstewartsr
20393
Points
dstewartsr 07/13/13 - 04:32 am
3
0
If the loan had value

... they could get it from a bank. More tax dollars being funneled through as many hands as possible; everyone gets to "wet their beak."

soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 07/13/13 - 04:23 pm
0
0
Sounds like Olde Town of the 1980's. One more time Ben Dover.
Unpublished

Sounds like Olde Town of the 1980's. One more time Ben Dover.

soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 07/13/13 - 04:24 pm
0
0
Can anyone say "RICO" prosecution? Anyone in ARC?
Unpublished

Can anyone say "RICO" prosecution? Anyone in ARC?

soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 07/13/13 - 04:25 pm
0
0
Racketeering, Influence Peddling, Corrupt Organization
Unpublished

Racketeering, Influence Peddling, Corrupt Organization

soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 07/13/13 - 04:25 pm
0
0
Mindless Behavior joins Ignorance & Apathy on tour in ARC
Unpublished

Mindless Behavior joins Ignorance & Apathy on tour in ARC

gordonmusic
2
Points
gordonmusic 07/17/13 - 12:07 am
0
0
The restaurant is not new to downtown...

... it's Cafe 209. They've been around for 20 yrs

Back to Top

Top headlines

Historic building on Laney campus demolished

The demolition of the 89-year-old Cauley-Wheeler building on the Lucy C. Laney High School campus is over, but the plan for a building that will act as a link to the former site and its story has ...
Search Augusta jobs