National Trust for Historic Preservation Recognizes Macon’s Warehouse Lofts Project as One of “Preservation’s Best” in 2013

The Warehouse Lofts project in Macon, Georgia has been recognized by a coalition of national preservation organizations for its outstanding contribution to the field of historic preservation and community revitalization. The “Preservation’s Best” award of 2013 was bestowed upon developer Bryan Nichols and presented by Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) in March on Capitol Hill.

Sponsored by Preservation Action, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, the award recognizes historic tax credit projects that take historically significant buildings that are typically vacant and abandoned and turn them into valuable community assets that can thrive in a new economic climate. Citing its impact on the ongoing revitalization of downtown Macon, the Warehouse Lofts project was one of six to receive the award in 2013.

In 2009, local businessman Bryan Nichols of Nichols Investment Group saw an opportunity to create more downtown housing units by rehabilitating the historic Scofield Iron Works Showroom, originally constructed in 1900 and located in Macon’s industrial and commercial center. The 15,000-square-foot building now features loft-style apartments with restored wood-sash windows, historic interior brickwork and updated plumbing and ductwork systems. Completed in 2010, the $385,000 Warehouse Lofts project was a catalyst for more than $16 million in other projects in downtown Macon.

The role of the historic tax credit as a catalyst in the Warehouse Lofts project is especially significant in light of recent legislative developments in Washington. In February, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), released a draft comprehensive tax reform plan that eliminates the historic tax credit—despite its proven track record of stimulating more than 2.4 million jobs, attracting nearly $109 billion in private investment and helping rehabilitate nearly 40,000 historic schools, factories, hotels, warehouses and more since 1981.

“The Warehouse Lofts  project illustrates just how valuable the federal historic tax credit is in attracting private investment to the care and reuse of our country’s historic resources, and how important those resources are to the vitality and identity of healthy downtowns,” said David J. Brown, chief preservation officer and executive vice president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We commend Mr. Nichols and the many partners working together to ensure Macon’s future revolves around its historic fabric.”

“I am proud of the award for the Warehouse Lofts, but even prouder to have a national spotlight on Macon, Georgia,” said building owner and developer Bryan Nichols. “Preservation tax credits and exceptional community partners are saving our city and building a future I am looking forward to.”

Congressional Historic Preservation Caucus Co-Chairs Michael Turner (R-Ohio) and Rush Holt (D-N.J.), along with U.S. senators and members of Congress that represent the project winners, were on hand to recognize the recipients of the 2013 Preservation’s Best awards.

Project photos and photos from the ceremony are available upon request. For more information about the historic tax credit and its role in downtown revitalization, visit www.preservationnation.org/taxcredits.

 

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.
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