The city of Rock Hill will give apartment developers about $325,000 in incentives to build 37 new residential units downtown.
The City Council unanimously approved on Monday night a development agreement for the four-story apartment building. It will replace the old Woolworth building on East Main Street, which is owned by the city’s nonprofit economic development group.
For years, city leaders have discussed their desire for new downtown apartments. On Monday, Mayor Doug Echols said the project is “a giant step forward.” Officials say the development will provide the city with up to $70,000 annually in new property taxes.
Reaching a “critical mass” of residential space should attract more retail and other businesses to Main Street, said Councilman Jim Reno. He added that the project deserved financial help from the city because it will “kick-start” growth in the area.
The development deal calls for the city to pay for the demolition of the Woolworth building, up to $200,000. The project’s investors – The Tuttle Co. of Rock Hill, and Lat Purser & Associates of Charlotte – say they’ll start the $3.7 million development next year.
Rock Hill also will pay for construction of a walkway to connect a downtown parking lot on White Street to the apartments and Main Street. The city has agreed to contribute $100,000 toward the building’s facade and $25,000 toward the developers’ utility costs.
The city likely will assign reserved parking for the apartment building in the lot behind it, facing White Street. A parking agreement is pending. The developer plans to pay for the reserved parking.
The agreement comes on the heels of a recently approved moratorium on new apartment buildings in Rock Hill. The downtown apartments are allowed under the City Council’s decision last month that new complexes in and around the downtown area be exempted from the moratorium.