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  • Deuce Niven, The Tabor City - Loris Tribune

‘Main Street Apartment Community’ for seniors proposed in Tabor City

Downtown redevelopment in Tabor City could include a senior citizen residential development, if developers are able to convince a state agency to fund tax incentives for the project.

Town council members approved a plan developed by Aberdeen based LKC Engineering during its Dec. 11 meeting, allowing engineer Bill Lester to submit the plan to the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.

If the project is ultimately approved, a senior apartment complex would be built on what is now a vacant lot at Main and 7th streets downtown, an area once known as “the crate factory” where the DJ Hughes Company made wooden crates from about 1909 though 1995, the LKC study said.

Securing state support will require the town to “develop a study showing what Tabor City has done in the vicinity in the past, and its future plans,” Town Manager Al Leonard told council.

That 60- page document complete with historical information, charts and maps was approved by council, members also voting unanimously to move forward with the project.

Lester said the document focuses on the strengths of the area, its proximity to downtown, economic powerhouses in the community including Atlantic Corp. and Tabor Correctional Institution.

Other highlights include: Successful efforts to recruit small industry, Filling available buildings with business and industry, Efforts to secure new industrial “shell buildings” that include plans to renovate the former Heilig-Meyers building downtown.

Investments in downtown including The Ritz Center, street and sidewalk improvements.

Lester told council the town has done well making progress in the face of economic challenges during the nearly 30 years he’s been involved in local projects.

“You’ve made a great investment in Tabor City,” Lester said. “There is still a lot of work to do, and you’re currently addressing those, like problems at the wastewater treatment plant.” Other issues, like aging sewer lines, “you are addressing, methodically,” Lester said. “Showing the reviewers of the application your efforts there is important.”

Other successful apartment complex projects, though not specifically geared for the elderly, will show the town is moving forward, Lester said.

Improvements in recreation, at the local athletic complex, should also reflect positively on the apartment community application.

“In summary, we believe this area meets funding requirements,” Lester said. Officials at the state agency will make their determination early in the new year

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