Sunday, April 1, 2012

Adaptive Reuse in South Fort Worth
     Real estate developer Eddie Vanston and architect Bob Kelley are working together to revitalize economic disadvantaged areas in South Fort Worth.  For example, their Project at 209 South Main Street has been a commercial stimulant for the area.  This structure was originally built in 1909 as a hotel.  In the 1920's it was converted to apartments.  In the late 1980's / early 1990's the building and area suffered from a decline in economic conditions and abandonment.  When Mr. Vanston purchased the building it was vacant and boarded up.  After being adapted to new purposes, the building houses offices on the ground floor and condos/apartments above.  This redevelopment project has created vibrancy for the surrounding area and has led to other adaptive reuse projects.

     The Miller Lofts:  One example of another adaptive reuse project in the area is located at 311 Bryan Street.  Originally constructed in 1910 as a manufacturing building, this stucture has been adapted for use as loft apartments.

MillerThe Miller Lofts are  in the Near Southside's South Main Village area . The oringinal building, which has been described as a  "historic gem" has been transformed into sixteen unique loft apartments. Fourteen 1 bedroom/1 bath, and two -- 2 bedroom/2 bath. In keeping with the authentic character of the building, its industrial bones shine through. Open floor plans, 20' ceilings, granite and soapstone counters, industrial lighting, exposed brick, original loading dock, functioning exterior factory doors, all in units ranging from 688-1700+ square feet.
     Supreme Golf Building:  An amazing transformation is taking place at the intersection of East Daggett Avenue and South Calhoun Street in South Fort Worth.  Specifically, an old, abandoned warehouse building is being adapted for reuse as loft apartments, commercial office space and a bier garden. 
This building was originally built in 1914 / 1915 as the Fort Worth Storage and Transfer Company Building.  It was used in this capacity until the early 1990's when it was adapted to serve as the Supreme Golf Building.  For the past 20 years the building has been operated under that name.  In 9 months, the building is scheduled to open with office suites and a bier garden on the first floor and with 23 loft apartments on the second and third floors.  Mr. Vanston's goal is to economically reinvigorate this intersection of South Fort Worth through this project.

     Incentives for Adaptive Reuse:  Mr. Vanston explained that he takes advantage of several adaptive reuse incentives offered by local and federal government entities.  Specifically, he uses the Historic Tax Credit and the New Market Tax Credit.  The Historic Tax Credit is available on buildings that the Government desires to preserve.  This tax credit has been around for a very long time and provides a stable, predictably source of funding.  The New Market Tax Credit is more narrowly tailored to serve as a "coomercial stimulant" for economically depressed areas.  Usually, buildings that are adapted using this credit must derive a minimum of 25% of their revenue from commercial sources.  The New Market Tax Credit has become increasingly difficult to obtain since 2008.  Mr. Vanson believes the New Market Tax Credit has become more trouble than it is worth.

     On past projects, Mr. Vanson has "twinned" the credits using them both in the same project.  He likes the flexibility that is afforded by working with historically protected buildings because they are exempt from several current building code requirements and do not have do meet ADA requirements above the first floor.  These and other incentives for adaptive reuse are discussed in detail in other entries of this blog.  

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