2016 Best Adaptive Reuse Project
From the early 1900s to 2001, a building at 115 Chatham Street in Sanford was home to several industries including The Sanford Buggy Company, Brown Buick, Sanford Furniture Company and Cascade Fibers. In 2001, Progressive Contracting Company purchased the multi-story, 30,000 square foot, contributing historic building from Cascade Fibers. It remained unoccupied, yet full of potential, for 15 years. In 2014, discussions began about moving City of Sanford and Lee County permitting, inspections and other departments, into the Sanford Buggy Company building, along with the Sanford Area Growth Alliance, and Downtown Sanford, Inc. The vision was to create a "one-stop shop" in downtown for contractors, developers, business owners, residents, and visitors. The project would also complete a block of Chatham Street properties that Progressive Development Company had been rehabilitating for years.
The company has invested more than $5 million to acquire and rehabilitate the Sanford Buggy Company to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Federal historic preservation tax credits and North Carolina Mill Rehabilitation tax credits were used for the project. Gerald Traub Architecture and Design was involved in planning for the physical aspects of the project. Construction began in 2015 and the building was occupied in January 2016. Sixty jobs were relocated to the Sanford Buggy Company building. During weekday business hours, there is a steady stream of visitors to the building for government or other business. A number of them also visit other establishments while downtown. A long-vacant downtown building has new life and its lease rate has gone from $0 to $12.50 per square foot. Since 2014, the property's tax value of the Buggy building has increased from $123,000 to nearly $2 million.
The NC Department of Commerce - NC Main Street and Rural Planning congrats Progressive Contracting Company, the City of Sanford, Lee County, Sanford Area Growth Alliance and Gerald Traub Architecture & Design for this wonderful example of how our old structures can add value back into a community.