The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

January 17, 2014

City continues downtown revitalization plan through Old Central School site

Friday, January 17, 2014 — Over the course of the past 10 years, the city of Albemarle has invested more than $13 million in its downtown area.

For the Old Central School redevelopment project to qualify for tax credits, the city put together a “small area plan” for the half-mile radius around the school. Part of this plan includes a tally of expenditures the city has invested in that area, which encompasses most of the downtown, over the past 10 years.

“I hope [these figures] show the commitment of the city and the downtown businesses to revitalize the downtown area,” Mayor Ronnie Michael said.

Of the $13 million the half-mile plan shows has been invested in the area, $9 million of that went into the renovation of City Hall.

The remaining $4 million went into projects such as street resurfacing, utility expansion and nuisance abatement.

“And I think it would be safe to say that isn’t half the money that has gone into the area,” Michael said.

The tally does not reflect the investments of banks and private businesses into the downtown area.

“I know there have been several multi-million dollar projects there,” Michael said.

There are also several tax breaks the city has granted for downtown restoration that are not reflected in that total.

Even without those figures, Rex Todd of The Landmark Group said if it wins tax credits the small area plan is in good shape.

“This is one of the best plans I’ve ever seen,” said Todd, a representative for the redevelopment company the city has selected to take on the Old Central School project.

“Keith Wolf in the planning department did an excellent job with it.”

Todd said this document represents a lot of careful record keeping by all of the city’s departments, which will be attractive to those administering redevelopment tax credits.

“But no matter what happens with the redevelopment project, this plan will continue to help the area in years to come,” he said.

While part of the small area plan documents what the city has invested in the past, the main goal of the document is to give the city a tool to address deterioration in the area now and in the future.

The bulk of the plan establishes a classification systems for structures in the area and puts each parcel of property in that half-mile into one of four categories.

Of 893 parcels they determined that 80 percent were “standard,” meaning they were in good condition.

Another 16 percent were “minor deteriorated,” meaning structures with visible, but less extensive, defects.

Three percent were “major deteriorated,” meaning structures were abandoned, unoccupied or unsecured with a clear lack of maintenence.

One percent were “dilapidated,” meaning structures were deteriorated beyond reasonable repair.

“On a three point scale of good, fair and poor, this data indicates that this area is in fair condition,” the report stated.

Michael said having this system in place will assist the city in addressing nuisance abatement, the enforcement of building codes, including the demolition of condemned property.

He said it can cost $10,000-$12,000 to demolish a house.

While the city tries to get the property owner to address such structures themselves, sometimes confusion over who owns the estate leaves that responsibility in the hands of the city.

“Nuisance abatement is a long, drawn-out process,” Michael said.

Having this small area plan in place, he said, gives the city a systematic way of addressing those properties so nothing is missed or overlooked, thus saving the city time, money and funds.

“It’s a great planning tool for the city,” Michael said.

The plan also lays out other ways of improving the area such as moving forward on road projects, designating historically-significant structures such as landmarks, further enforcing historic design guidelines  and promoting the Albemarle Downtown Area Revitalization Program.

“You can’t fix the [Old Central School] without fixing the neighborhood anymore than you can fix the neighborhood without fixing the school,” Todd said.

“The city needs both and I think you can see that at work in this plan.”

To submit story ideas, contact Shannon Beamon at (704) 982-2121 ext. 24 or at

Text Only
Local News
  • Mission team heads to Ukraine

    A team from First Baptist Church of Midland left July 26 for Pyloypovychi, a small village in western Ukraine, near Novograd-Volinsky, near the border of Belarus.

    July 30, 2014

  • Police ready for night out

    Expect a swarm of cops at Roosevelt Ingram Park.
    No, there is no trouble brewing. Aug. 5 marks the annual National Night Out when police officers converge with their respective communities as part of an effort to strengthen relations between law enforcement officers and the public they serve.

    July 30, 2014

  • Eagle Scout Award Stanfield Scout receives Eagle rank

    Wade Mullins of Boy Scout Troop 27 in Stanfield recently earned his Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America program.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wool Pool Wool pool draws farmers near, far

    “Yes, sir, yes, sir. Three bags full,” goes “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep,” the children’s nursery rhyme. Various bags of wool were assembled in Stanly County this week.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police chief resigns

    Stanfield is on the lookout for someone to lead its Police Department following the July 18 resignation of Chief James Schneider. Officer Corie Faggart has been named interim chief while the town seeks interviewees for the post.

    July 28, 2014

  • 24-27 back on list

    After an outpouring of public comment on the N.C. Highway 24-27 project,  the N.C. Department of Transportation says it may have a chance at funding once again.

    July 28, 2014

  • Youth Choir State youth choir shares message in scripture, song

    They came, they sang, they shared a message.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lending A Hand Red Cross, YMCA discuss emergency preparedness

    They may not be in the Coast Guard, or even in the Boy Scouts, but the kids at this year’s YMCA camp can now say they follow the same motto: always be prepared.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dragon Boat Resident wants to bring boat races to Stanly

    Ann Pressly is not ripping herself off with the idea of bringing dragon boat racing to Stanly County. She is just taking advantage of a good thing and something that is gaining in popularity.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • School board hopeful files to oppose Poole

    District 1 Board of Education member Melvin Poole has something he has not had since 1998, an opponent.

    July 21, 2014

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide