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South Boston council backs project to redevelop leaf warehouse

SoVaNow.com / November 08, 2012
South Boston Town Council on Monday night gave its approval to a financial agreement with Rehab Development of Winston Salem, N.C. to build some 22 market rate apartments in the old New Brick Warehouse, located on Jefferson Street.

Council’s action came after members discussed the project in closed session, before giving it their stamp of approval. Coming out of executive session, Councilman Coleman Speece moved to approve the project with Vice Mayor Ed Owens seconding the motion. It received the unanimous approval of Council.

Destination Downtown Executive Director Tamyra Vest told Council that her group feels it is important to save the last remaining tobacco warehouse in South Boston and the apartment redevlopment would do just that.

Noting that her group is anxious to preserve the old brick structure, built in 1900, she described this as “the ideal project,” with Rehab Development utilizing tax credits that will require them to meet historic standards. She also spoke of the attractiveness of living in the downtown area and the convenience it offers to its patrons – proximity to shops, restaurants and cultural events.

The financial agreement approved by Council is contingent on a written commitment by Rehab Development to make a minimum capital investment in the amount of $2.5 million to rehabilitate the old building. Their plans call for 14 two bedroom apartments of some 1,125 square footage and a pair of two bedroom smaller apartments and two one bedroom units of 821 square feet and two smaller one bedroom units.

Earlier in their meeting Monday night Council members (with Councilman Bob Hughes absent) approved a certificate of convenience which will allow Jackie M. Bowey to operate a taxi service within the town and county.

They also approved an amendment to the Town Code which requires that pawnbrokers submit daily reports to the police department electronically, listing their second hand goods which are for sale.

In other action Council approved the transfer of $30,500 from the parks and recreation contingency fund and another $49,757 from the Town’s contingency fund. That money, Town Manager Ted Daniel pointed out, is needed to bring the total of $944,397 to accept the bid of McDannald Construction Company for work on the Washington-Coleman Community Center.

Members also approved an amendment to the town code which allows members of boards and commissions to serve terms of as many as 12 years and then to continue to serve until such time as a successor is named to fill their position.

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