As we reflect on 2015, we had some major preservation wins and some losses. With 2016 around the corner, we’re thinking of ways we can improve upon our successes and learn from our mistakes. Historic Macon resolves to make sure the nation knows that #maconispreservation. Here’s how:
1. Lead the state of Georgia in the number of tax credit applications submitted for the fourth year in a row
In the past three consecutive years, Macon has led the state of Georgia in the number of tax credit applications submitted. Tax credits are preservation incentives that make many residential and commercial rehabilitation projects possible. Historic Macon has played a large role in the number of tax credit applications submitted by providing consultation services for those interested in utilizing historic tax credits. Additionally, our work in promoting the many benefits of tax credits and Macon’s historic districts has also increased the number of applications submitted. Since adding a staff person to oversee our tax credit consultation program in 2014, Historic Macon is committed more than ever before to help Macon hold this record in 2016.
2. Complete the rehabilitation of 1388 Calhoun Street for an unforgettable Design House
Historic Macon began the rehabilitation project of 1388 Calhoun Street in the fall of 2015. This is the most ambitious rehab Historic Macon has taken on to date. The house will serve as HMF’s Design House in June 2016 and will be available for tours as part of Historic Macon’s signature fundraiser, Design, Wine and Dine. In 2016, we resolve to complete this project and showcase our best Design House yet.
3. Increase the number of low interest façade and energy efficiency loans awarded
Historic Macon has awarded over 60 low interest loans to improve historic homes to date. Property owners in the College Hill Corridor can apply for low interest loans to improve the facades or the overall energy efficiency of their homes. Historic Macon has made this program more robust since Knight Foundation invested $3 million into Beall’s Hill revitalization efforts. In addition to funding rehabilitation projects and new builds in Beall’s Hill, Knight Foundation’s investment increased the loan fund and allowed Historic Macon to hire an additional staff member to oversee the program. In 2016, HMF resolves to award more low interest loans and market this program to those who are eligible to take advantage of it.
4. Find a preservation solution for Alexander IV and Cotton Avenue District and save more properties to be included in Macon’s Fading Five
In 2015, we announced our inaugural endangered properties list, known as Macon’s Fading Five. Since that announcement in August, we have made steady progress and three properties have been purchased for rehabilitation. In 2016, we resolve to diligently seek out solutions for the two remaining sites on Macon’s Fading Five: Alexander IV and Cotton Avenue District.
We also resolve to publish a new list in the summer of 2016 and work with the same tenacity to find solutions for the properties that will be added to Macon’s Fading Five. This requires community support. Part of the success of 2015’s Fading Five can be attributed to the nomination process. Because community members identified the properties that were important and that needed saving, Historic Macon already had support to find appropriate solutions for properties on Macon’s Fading Five. We need you to nominate properties in July 2016 and help us identify those significant historic resources that have meaning and need saving.
5. Sell new builds in Beall’s Hill and increase the number of residents who love the neighborhood
Currently, Historic Macon has 5 brand new houses for sale in Beall’s Hill on Ash Street and Calhoun Street. We resolve to sell these homes to new neighbors in Beall’s Hill who will be committed community supporters. Help us spread the word about these beautiful homes by sharing the Zillow postings on your social media accounts. Each time we sell a house we’re able to replenish the revolving fund and tackle another project. In Beall’s Hill we have over a dozen properties waiting to be redeveloped.
6. Expand our neighborhood revitalization efforts to Mill Hill
In 2015, Historic Macon partnered with the Urban Development Authority and Macon Arts Alliance to rehabilitate 4 properties in Mill Hill, as part of the East Macon Arts Village. Partnering with Urban Development Authority and Macon Arts Alliance is like dropping a stone in a pond for East Macon – Mill Hill will have a ripple effect in the area leading to revitalization and a more vibrant neighborhood. Paired with the momentum from the Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve Initiative and the Macon Action Plan, this area will be transformed to a neighborhood with quality housing for a fair price. The work of these three organizations will help us place houses back on the tax rolls and create jobs. We resolve to apply our rehabilitation work to a new area with the help of the Urban Development Authority and Macon Arts Alliance, making for a better, stronger Macon.
7. We resolve to share the success of our work and communicate how the community can help us reach our goals
As a non-profit preservation organization, our work is not possible without the support of our community. We resolve to continuously thank you for your support. We recognize that you as members and community supporters allow us to carry out our mission 365 days of the year and that you want to help us succeed. We resolve to let you know about the opportunities to give financially, donate your time, and to let you know how you contributed to our success.
Happy New Year to you and yours from Historic Macon!