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Lofts Project Complete

Developer: Further projects in limbo after lawmakers end tax credits

By Rochelle Moore Times Staff Writer

A second downtown historic revitalization project is complete and units are being leased at the recently opened Wilson Furniture Company Lofts on Goldsboro Street.

The project to restore the building, constructed sometime between 1893 and 1897, is the second for CommunitySmith and Rehab Development in downtown Wilson.

“They’re ready for occupancy,” said Patrick Reilly, managing partner of Rehab Development. “Two apartments are already occupied.”

Wilson Furniture Company Lofts, at 120 S. Goldsboro St., has five apartments, including three one-bedroom, one two-bedroom and one live-work unit that can also be used as a one-bedroom unit. Two of the one-bedroom apartments are under lease agreements, which were recently signed following the building’s Aug. 1 opening.

The units are similar to the design of the Nash Street Lofts, which opened with 13 apartments in December 2013. To date, 11 of the Nash lofts, at 215 E. Nash St., are rented.

“It’s the same type situation as we have at the Nash Street Lofts,” Reilly said of the apartment features and design. The two-bedroom apartment at the Wilson Lofts includes two full bathrooms, which would work well with roommates, Reilly said.

“If you thought the Nash Street Lofts were cool, these are even cooler,” he said.

Apartment finishes are high quality and include energy efficient stainless steel appliances and washers and dryers, solid surface countertops, tile backsplashes, hardwood floors and other features that blend with the historic integrity of the building.

The Chesson Agency is handling apartment leases and can be reached at 291-3600. A website is also available for more information about the property, at wilsonfurniture.nashstreetlofts.com.

Leases range between $765 and $1,100 a month and include high-speed Greenlight Internet and cable television, water and sewer. Tenants are responsible for the cost of electricity and garbage.

Restoring the historic property, which cost about $725,000, was possible through federal and state historic tax credits, a $200,000 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant and private investment.

Developers with CommunitySmith and Rehab Development are interested in other projects in the downtown area but the December sunset of the state’s historic tax program will present new challenges, Reilly said.

“The North Carolina historic tax credits, recently sunset by the legislature, played an important part in us doing this project,” he said. “It could be revisited in the next long session. As a developer, I can’t take it to the bank that they’re going to revisit it.

“There are things we would like to do in Wilson but because of the state historic tax credits, we will need to reshuffle the deck and try to figure out another avenue of assistance, possibly with the city, possibly with the county. County tax abatements would help.”

The Wilson Furniture Company Lofts’ building has been vacant for decades and deteriorating before redevelopment efforts started seven months ago. The building was first used as a hardware store and became the location for the Wilson Furniture Company in 1915. The building has been primarily used by furniture stores through the years and previously as an annex for Tucker Furniture in the late 1960s.

rochelle@wilsontimes.com | 265-7818