Real Estate Incentives

There are many incentives for developing real estate in downtown Macon. Not all of these incentives apply to every property in downtown, but learning about these incentive programs is a great place to start. NewTown specializes in individual and group coaching for real estate development. Please contact us to learn more.

Loans and Financing

The Georgia Cities Foundation runs a low-interest loan fund to assist with the rehabilitation of historic buildings in Georgia’s downtown. The program can loan up to $250,000. The Foundation prefers to participate no more than 40% in total project costs, and usual terms are 3% interest, 10 years fully amortized. The Foundation will subordinate to other lenders.
Historic Macon Foundation operates a facade loan program for downtown that makes loans of either $5,000 or $10,000 at 3% interest with 5-year repayment terms.
Macon-Bibb County operates a Façade Improvement Program (FIP), whose mission is to provide needed gap financial assistance to stimulate rehabilitation of blighted commercial buildings located in the Central Business District (CBD) of Macon. In addition to improving the appearance of blighted buildings, the Program promotes economic development by stimulating private investment and job creation. The FIP works with local banks to form partnerships and increase investment in the community. Maximum loan is $20,000.
The Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority operates a loan program that can be used for tenant build-out or improvements by a property owner. Terms are generally 10 to fifteen years, with an interest rate of 2%. The program is limited to 40% of project costs and $200,000 and requires the participation of a private lender. Download the application.
NewTown Macon operates a revolving loan fund to support downtown revitalization. Preference is given to projects with a residential component. NewTown will not participate more than 40% in total project costs, and terms are generally 6.25% interest with up to 15-year amortization schedules. An interest only precedes occupancy. NewTown Macon will subordinate to other lenders on a case-by-case basis.

Tax Incentives

Property tax abatement or monetization is available for new-build projects (or historic properties that opt out of the historic preservation tax abatement) through the Macon-Bibb Urban Development Authority (UDA). The UDA has pre-approval from local taxing agencies to authorize abatements for projects that add loft housing under very specific program guidelines. The abatement allows no property tax payments during the first five years of ownership and then a gradual increase to full taxes over years six to ten. Download the application.
If you spend and amount equal to the value of a historic building on eligible rehabilitation work over twenty-four months, you may be eligible for a property tax freeze at the pre-rehabilitation value for 8.5 years, a 25% state income tax credit and a 20% federal income tax credit. Because of Macon’s rich architectural heritage, we regularly lead the state in tax credit projects, besting Atlanta and Savannah. You must apply for these programs before you start work, and all interior and exterior work is subject to approval by the State Historic Preservation Office. Application expenses are usually around $10,000 for a $1,000,000 project. The credits can be retained to offset tax liability for the owner of the property, or syndicated to produce equity. Syndication usually produces 60%-80% of the value of the credit in equity, net of expenses. NewTown Macon recommends that interested parties contact Historic Macon Foundation prior to beginning a project
Property tax abatement or monetization is available for new-build projects (or historic properties that opt out of the historic preservation tax abatement) through the Macon-Bibb Urban Development Authority (UDA). The UDA has pre-approval from local taxing agencies to authorize abatements for projects that add loft housing under very specific program guidelines. The abatement allows no property tax payments during the first five years of ownership and then a gradual increase to full taxes over years six to ten. Download the application.

Energy Incentives

Georgia Power offers incentives for energy efficiency upgrades in both rehabilitated and newly constructed properties, and for both commercial and multi-family development. Contact Georgia Power before you begin work to find out how you can benefit from these programs.
Atlanta Gas Light offers incentives for energy efficiency upgrades in both rehabilitated and newly constructed properties, and for both commercial and multi-family development. Contact Atlanta Gas Light before you begin work to find out how you can benefit from these programs.
The Green Communities Fund is a rebate program offered by the Georgia Cities Foundation. The Green Communities Fund provides a 25% rebate for pre-approved, eligible energy efficient improvements to downtown commercial, mixed-use, and multi-family buildings within the state of Georgia. You can find out more and apply to the fund on their website.