MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - What once was only a dream for project designer Gene Dunwody, Jr. is now just a week away from opening.
For a while, it seemed like there wouldn't be enough money to convert the old Dannenberg building into spacious downtown lofts, until the city secured a $1.5 million grant that was almost lost when the Atlantic Cotton Mill went up in flames.
"What that basically allowed us to do is provide some gap financing between what the investors were bringing, what the banks were willing to loan, and what the actual total cost of the project is," says councilman Tom Ellington.
Councilwoman Elaine Lucas wasn't fully behind the idea at first, but now she says she's on board.
"Re-use of the building, I think, is the way of the future," says Lucas. "I look to see this kind of thing take off over this entire city."
Thanks to that all important grant, we could see more projects like this in the future.
"It really serves two purposes," says mayor Robert Reichert. "Not only did it close the financing gap and make this project possible, it's going to come back and make other projects possible and serve as gap financing as a revolving loan fund to get projects going."
The apartments, which all include access to Kinetix Health Club downstairs, start at just $600.
"It's going to be great for young and old people," says Reichert. "It's going to create this vibrant, urban zone in downtown that can then serve as the hub for the hub city of the middle Georgia region."
Dunwody says at least ten apartments are set to open next week.