FOREST CITY OFFICE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT
The Forest City Main Street Program is a partnership between the Town of Forest City's Office of Downtown Development and Downtown Forest City, Inc., a nonprofit organization. The program primarily works in the areas of design, promotion, economic prosperity, and partnership development. The Main Street Program is part of the North Carolina Main Street Program and the National Main Street Center, National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Town was awarded the Main Street status in July 2003.
PRESERVATION DESIGN SERVICES PROGRAM
In 2000, the Town of Forest City created an Office of Downtown Development with a full-time staff person who also serves as the Town’s Planner.
The Office of Downtown Development also works with an all-volunteer non-profit organization, Downtown Forest City, Inc. Both the Office of Downtown Development and Downtown Forest City follow the organizing principles of the National Main Street Program:
Organization and Partnerships
Promotion and Image-building
Design and Appearance
Historic Preservation Planning
Seventy-nine buildings in downtown are located within the Downtown Forest City Historic District. Fifty-seven buildings are considered "contributing" buildings. A contributing building is eligible for historic tax credits from both the Federal and state governments. If the amount of renovation cost meets a certain threshold, the property owner can receive 40% historic tax credit on most of the exterior and interior renovations. Those renovations must meet a certain national standard. The Town of Forest City provides the services of a preservation planner to help the property owner ascertain the eligibility of the renovation as a historic tax credit project. The architect also works to design the appropriate façade rendering that can be sent to the Federal government. The preservation planner does not actually write the tax credit application, but can be available for a private consultation fee.
One of the primary efforts under Design and Appearance is assisting property owners with the re-design of their building facades. The Program has contracted with an architectural firm that specializes in historic preservation. An architect works with property owners to ascertain the type of renovation they are considering, including possible colors or materials. If possible, historic photographs are located in our archives. The architect does a rendering of the building, including paint and awning colors. If the building needs façade repair such as terra cotta tiles, advice and contacts are also given in this area. Samples of a soy-based product are also available if the property owner is considering removing paint from brick. The service is limited and the architect is not able to provide consultation on any interior work.
The Program to Date
Since July 2000, eighteen building façade renderings have been developed. Nine buildings have been renovated, four are in the process of current renovation, and five are still under consideration of the property owner.
How to Access the Program
The property owner can contact the Office of Downtown Development listed below. A limited amount of money is allocated in the budget each fiscal year for the program and approximately five to eight buildings a year can be funded each year.
Town Planner / Downtown Development Director
PO Box 728
Forest City, NC 28043