The Union Recorder


April 23, 2014

New Bishop building owner details plans

MILLEDGEVILLE — The newly purchased property at 101 S. Wayne St. will transform into The Martin Building by the end of the summer.

Owner Marty Martin, who bought the former Bishop building at the corner of Hancock and South Wayne streets under 101 South Wayne Street, LLC in mid-February, previewed his rehabilitation plans with Milledgeville City Council Tuesday.

The building will house four one-bedroom apartments and four commercial spaces.

Martin doesn't want to add another college bar at the street level.

“I'm looking for something that could be a little quieter and cleaner down there,” he told City Council Tuesday. “I'm holding off as long as I can until it's in the right hands. Until then, we are fixing it up. It's a lot of work.”

The building's interior or backbone is falling, according to Martin.

“That's the reason why it didn't sell for so long because once they got inside they figured out it was a big chunk of change to fix that building,” Martin said. “For the first 40 to 50 days, there will be someone working down inside the structure to lift everything up.”

Architect Ray Fordham will handle the rehab work that should take three to four months to complete.

City Council unanimously authorized an Initial Project Assessment and application to apply for revolving loan funds from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and Georgia Cities Foundation to redevelop the property April 8.

This is the preliminary stage of a low interest loan application for Main Street communities through both the DCA and the Georgia Cities Foundation.

This financing will pay off some loans used to redevelop the building within historical parameters. The Martin Building design will reinvigorate a historical space in line with the loan requests.

“I'm glad your idea is keeping a historical perspective,” Mayor Richard Bentley said.

The new property ownership is asking for $250,000 from DCA and $37,000 from the Georgia Cities fund. Total projected cost is $735,000.

The notable work at the Baldwin Lofts utilized a similar funding mechanism.

The Baldwin Lofts' design and innovative use of financing gained both the downtown revolving loan and Georgia Cities Foundation funds, as well as multiple federal and state tax credit programs for historic preservation.

City of Milledgeville code updates opened the doors for others that couldn't develop the upper level in the past.

The Downtown Development Authority secured four parking spots next to the old Western Auto building for the developer to rent, which covers the current city code requirement.

Martin, along with his Milledgeville native wife Kim Hall Martin, also purchased the Antebellum Inn Bed & Breakfast on North Columbia Street last June. The Martins decided Milledgeville was the ideal getaway from their home in Manhasset, N.Y.

Kim is a former president and general manager of WE tv and also serves on the Georgia College Foundation Board of Trustees.

Along with Marty, who works in real estate and is a former national sales manager for a golf and tennis sport brand, the couple is excited about investing in the city.

“We appreciate your investment both at the Inn and this building. We are looking forward to seeing it,” Bentley said. “It's a focal point of our downtown, and there is so much that can be done with it. I'm confident we've found the right fit.”


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