Updated: Feb 7
2018 Best Innovation
The City of Lenoir Main Street program had a desire to address misconceptions and stifle myths about redevelopment of downtown commercial properties. The $16,000 Moving Lenoir to the 2nd Floor program began with a workshop held locally for downtown Lenoir property owners, business owners, bankers, real estate agents, accountants, city council and administration, the Fire Marshal, and building inspectors. The workshop, called “Backflow to Cash Flow,” was presented by preservation architects David Maurer and Plaster. It provided critical information about the North Carolina Building Code and historic tax credits. Following the workshop, grant funds were used to support individual walk-throughs of twenty-one historic properties with architects Maurer and Plaster.
As a result, data was collected, pictures were taken, and notes were recorded on each historic building, and the information remains in the downtown building inventory housed in the Downtown Development Department. The process empowered owners to make more informed decisions about their next steps for rehabilitating the properties.
Eight property owners were inspired to begin rehabilitation work and eight properties have sold, resulting in $500,000 in private investment and $1 million in private acquisitions over a twelve-month period.