Preserving the past and doing more to create a vibrant and diverse downtown.
“I’ve just always loved old buildings – the character that they have,” says Joe Whitsett, co-founder of TWG Development, LLC. “A lot of them have been torn down, but the ones that are left are great. Most of our projects are focused on the adaptive reuse of those buildings.”
In 2007, Joe’s love of historic structures, commitment to diversity and expertise in affordable housing finance laws came together. That’s when he and his son founded their unique construction and building management company.
“Every time someone takes an existing building and makes it high-end, market-rate housing, there are lower-income people who are pushed out. TWG sees that as an opportunity to keep some, or all, of our buildings affordable. It’s vital so that seniors, people who work in the restaurants or local hospitals, and entry-level workers still have a place to live,” Joe says.
In 2010, Brian Coffee and Sarah McKenzie from the Regions Affordable Housing segment, began meeting with Joe. Both associates had extensive experience with Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) developments,.
“In 2012, we discussed the concept of Regions investing in our 800 North Capital project. It’s been a great relationship. They’ve been very helpful and secured a $1.8 million equity investment for the project,” Joe says. “While these deals are a bit tricky, they are good investments for Regions and part of our commitment to the Community Reinvestment Act,” says Anne Bridges, who helped coordinate the loan.
The 800 North Capital property renovation was completed at the end of December 2013. The building was originally occupied by the Khan Tailoring Company. “It’s really pretty neat history for the city. We’re taking the building back to a warehouse feel – exposed ductwork and concrete floors,” Joe says. What’s more, 800 North Capital will feature a mix of affordable units and market-rate units.
“These buildings represent community treasures that were once sources of local pride,” Anne says. “Now, in part through our financial commitments, they are once again becoming icons in our communities. In fact, we have made two additional investments with Joe’s company.”
See the complete Regions 2013 Social Responsibility Report, “Doing More,”.