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Grant/loan mix for tobacco warehouse rehab

SoVaNow.com / November 29, 2012
South Boston Town Council, following a closed session on Monday night, agreed to provide an economic development grant/loan package to Rehab Development to assist with the development of a market-rate apartment project planned at the old New Brick Warehouse building.

Earlier during their regular November monthly meeting, Council members approved a financial agreement with Rehab Development, based in Winston Salem, N.C., to build some 22 market-rate apartments inside the old New Brick Warehouse, which is located on Jefferson Street.

The action came after Destination Downtown Executive Director Tamyra Vest told Council that it is important to save the last remaining tobacco warehouse in South Boston. Rehab Development’s plans for the apartment project would do just that, she added.

Rehab Development’s plans call for 14 two-bedroom apartments, two smaller two-bedroom apartments and four one-bedroom units. Vest termed it “the perfect project,” noting that Rehab Development would utilize tax credits that require them to meet historic standards for preserving the old structure.

Council members approved an economic development grant/loan in an amount up to the fair market value of the old warehouse, in addition to a 20 year interest-free loan of $185,000 which the town had earlier approved.

Council directed Town Manager Ted Daniel to transfer the funds only after a copy of the recorded deed from Destination Downtown, Inc. to Rehab Development is received, and then a reimbursement is received from Destination Downtown to the Town to cover funding provided for the economic development operations of Destination Downtown South Boston over the fiscal years of 2011-2012 and 2012- 2013.

Daniel said the fair market value of the old warehouse would be established by Rehab Development, which he said is already working to have an appraisal of the building’s value made. Daniel said he does not know exactly how much it will be.

Rehab Development will pay Destination Downtown the amount of the established value, and Destination Downtown will in turn pay the Town for its support for the past two years.

As for the earlier $185,000 grant, Daniel said Rehab Development will repay the Town a minimum of $5,000 a year, interest free, until the total is repaid.

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