2019 Award of Merit - Best Historic Rehabilitation Project
Mount Airy, NC
The Spencer’s Loft Condominiums are located across several properties in the historic Spencer’s Mill complex in downtown Mount Airy and have brought new life into these once vacant structures.
Originally constructed from approximately 1905 to 1923, the mill buildings were abandoned in 2007 with the closure of Spencer’s Mill. Building on former successes with other local restorations, developer Gene Rees set out to transform these abandoned structures into residential property in the heart of downtown Mount Airy. Renovation activity was extensive and included a variety of activities such as stabilizing the structure, restoring missing windows, refinishing historic wooden floors, and transforming the breezeway over Willow Street into a resident lounge space.
In 2014, Mount Airy Downtown expanded their municipal service district to include Spencer’s Mill. This effort supported their economic development strategy to expand residential units within the downtown district and to build on success in the adjacent Market Street commercial area. The Spencer’s Loft Condominiums used Federal and State Tax credits for this project to leverage buyers’ interest.
Units in the property sold from approximately $180,000 to nearly half a million dollars. In addition, the city property tax on the property increased from $145 to $37,000 per year.
The Spencer’s Loft Condominiums have added 16 residential units in the downtown with a total property value of $4,590,000 at completion. More than 30 new residents have moved into the district as a result of this development. The addition of new residents has helped to support four new restaurants in the downtown commercial district and has inspired increased interest and traffic in downtown Mount Airy.
Congratulations to this Small Town Main Street community for its 2019 award.
In the category of DESIGN, Best Historic Rehabilitation Project highlights the work of an individual or business that has completed an outstanding historic rehabilitation project.
An Award of Merit is presented to: Gene Rees, Rowhouse Architects, and R&L Construction for The Spencer’s Loft Condominiums