Glover explains to Rotarians about programs to revitalize rural downtowns
Published 3:39 pm Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Amanda Glover, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, spoke to Rotary this week about the R.U.R.A.L. zone that has been designated to offer State of Georgia tax credits as incentives to help businesses revitalize rural downtowns. The City of Bainbridge is one of nine communities designated by the Legislature to participate in the program in 2018 to 2022.
A very detailed master plan was submitted by the City, which had to meet certain requirements in a specifically detailed zone of the downtown area. One of the eligibility requirements was that the designated zone must have a concentration of historic commercial structures at least 50 years old.
The Bainbridge Zone has identified 225 tax parcels with 172 buildings, of which 142 are designated historic properties.
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In order to qualify for the benefits, the business must create two full-time equivalent jobs, for which they will receive $2,000 credit per each and can be taken for five years as long as the jobs are maintained.
Also included is a rehabilitation tax credit equal to 30 percent of qualified rehabilitation costs not to exceed $150,000, and an investment tax credit equivalent to 25 percent of the purchase price, not to exceed $125,000.
Because the designated area is also in the Historic Zone, any remodeling must comply with the standards of the district.
Glover said the City does not presently have a local Revolving Loan Fund for assisting business development, but they are considering it.
She went on to announce that since January 1, 2018, there have been 13 properties sold in the downtown area. “It is exciting to see this and to see locals getting involved with ownership and development of the downtown.”
One of the sales announced is for a brew pub that will locate in the former Fleming building on the square. “It just closed yesterday,” said Glover. Another is the new Diablo’s restaurant, being developed on West Street.
There is also a growing need for apartments and condos living space in the downtown, according to Glover, who said there are currently 34 units and all have waiting lists. She indicated the second floor property located above the new Bella’s Boutique location is now under a pending sale contract, and promises to be developed into additional housing.
Persons interested in learning more about the revitalizing programs may contact Glover at 229-400-9093, visit www.downtownbainbridgega.com or by email at email@example.com.