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2023 Award of Merit: Goldsboro

Updated: Apr 1

The View at Wayne National

2023 NC Main Street Award: Economic Vitality

Best Endangered Properties Rescue Effort

  • Rehab Development

  • Level 2 Development

  • Rehab Builders

  • Rehab Engineering

  • Dunn & Dalton Architects

  • Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation

  • City of Goldsboro

  • Wayne County

This project began in 2015 with six unused, underutilized, and vacant buildings, located at two 100% corners in downtown Goldsboro. 200, 204, and 206 East Walnut Street, 102 South John Street, 135 and 139 West Walnut Street, comprised of six buildings – four historic and two non-historic properties, that totaled nearly 70,000 square feet. Some were vacant for a decade, others much longer.

Wayne County owned four of the buildings and vacated three of them in 2014 and 2015. The county planned to raze them to yield a total of twelve parking spaces. Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation worked with the City of Goldsboro to build a case to have the properties donated to the City and for the government agencies to share in the cost of repairing the roofs if the nonprofit Main Street program could not find a developer within a certain time period. The two other properties were privately owned.

The Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation identified an economic development strategy in 2017 to become an urban lifestyle center and protect downtown Goldsboro’s primary asset – their historic built stock, and the board of directors developed a plan to reduce nonproductive, uninhabitable space by 20,000 square feet by 2019. Also, in 2017, the nonprofit leadership met and began conversations with Patrick Reilly with Rehab Development about the vacant properties.

There were several years of negotiations and contract versions between the developer and the City of Goldsboro that were organized by Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation, in addition to initiating the local advocacy to reinstate the state historic tax credit program by preparing resolutions allowing the city and county to officially support the program, press releases, white pages, and communications with General Assembly representatives.

The City of Goldsboro donated the property to Downtown Goldsboro, and they formed an LLC to allow the successful handoff of properties and they acquired the services of an appraisal for several of the properties that resulted in a zero value, creating an easy transfer to the developer. The Main Street program prepared the Part One Historic Preservation Tax Credit applications and the State Historic Landmark applications on behalf of the project. Landmark status provides a 50% baseline of property tax in perpetuity. The City and County also provided the developer with a $310,000 dollar sliding tax-base grant over ten years. -Additionally, the City provided a performance based, forgivable loan of $300,000, paid out in $100,000 payments upon construction benchmark completions.

Once the agreement was reached, Downtown Goldsboro facilitated joint meetings to make the rehabilitation construction process run smoothly with the interdepartmental policies, codes, regulations, and expectations. Dunn and Dalton Architects designed the project to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation in order to utilize the federal and state historic tax credit programs. Facades were maintained, roofs were replaced or repaired, bank vaults, staircases and interior office doors were incorporated into the design, and windows, floors, masonry, and decorative architectural features were cleaned, repaired, preserved, and protected. Throughout construction, Downtown Goldsboro celebrated and drew attention to the project with tours, social media, presentations, and articles.

The result of the effort is significant. Rehab Development completed the project in May 2022, investing nearly $14,000,000 and creating 63 residential units with a mix of studio, one and two-bedroom units, and one three-bedroom unit, space for offices, home for the Arts Council of Wayne County, space for retail shops and nonprofits, and six furnished extended stay long term units that support Seymour Johnson Airforce Base. The investment generates $88,000 in monthly income and is expected to generate $1.1 million in annual income in 2024 . The tax base increased by more than 1,300% from $684,000 to more than $7,000,000 in tax valuation.

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