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2023 Award of Merit: Mt. Airy

Updated: Apr 1

Former Coca-Cola bottling plant

2023 NC Main Street Award: Design

Best Historic Rehabilitation Project

  • REF Properties

  • West Depot Architecture

  • Moore & Associates Engineering & Consulting, Inc.

  • Kilian Engineering, Inc.

  • A La Carla by Carla Timmons Design



The former Coca-Cola bottling plant, located at 134 Moore Avenue in downtown Mount Airy, was constructed in 1925, and operated as a bottling facility until the early 1960’s. The 8,000 sq. ft Colonial Revival style building was partially occupied with professional offices until 2021, when developer Gene Rees of REF Properties, began rehabilitation of the property to serve as a 4,000 sq. ft artisan drapery store on the first floor, and 4,000 square feet of market-rate residential space on the second floor.


The $750,000 rehabilitation project met the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and utilized the federal and state historic tax credit program to bring the project to fruition. The intact five-bay building features keystone-centered, round-arch, fan-lighted bays on the first story, paired six-light rectangular windows on the second story, a dentil cornice and stepped and curvilinear parapet end gables. Small wrought iron second-story balconies mark the end bays.


On the interior, the original first-floor concrete floors were patched, cleaned, and stained. Hardwood flooring was installed on the second floor, plaster walls and ceilings were repaired and painted, and unpainted brick walls were left intact. The mixed-use development along Moore Avenue contributes to the creation of a vibrant and thriving downtown hub. The former Coca-Cola Bottling Plant now houses one retail shop and two residential units. Before rehabilitation, the property generated a rental income of $650 a month or $7,800 annually.


After rehabilitation, it generates $8,300 a month or $96,000 annually. And the tax valuation increased from $176,000 to $553,000.




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