Loan Closing Date – 1-19-17
Funded by ACC – $185,000
Loan Amount – $585,000
Location – Charleston, WV
Tighe Bullock and his father, John, are at the forefront of the renovation of Elk City, a 1900’s-era section of west Charleston, West Virginia. Since 2009, the Bullocks have renovated and restored more than 10 historic buildings with the goal of turning Elk City into a walkable, art-friendly, affordable community. Recently the Dollar General store in the heart of the commercial district closed, and the building went on the market, directly across the street from several Bullock-renovated properties. The century-old building with pressed-tin ceilings had once been on the National Register of Historic Places. The Bullocks want to restore the building’s original facade and divide the 7,200 square-foot space back into its original four retail stores.
Natural Capital Investment Fund provided the financing to help Bullock purchase the property and undertake renovations. The project has obtained funding from the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority and the new owners are seeking grants and tax credit opportunities from other historic preservation agencies. Bullock Properties works with high school and vocational school students to train them, give them a sense of responsibility, and then reward their efforts with increased wages as they gain proficiency.
Despite its character and unique architecture, Elk City’s median household income of $22,463 is the lowest of any section of Charleston, compared to the city’s overall $47,582 (Marshall University study, 2014). The renovation and new businesses at this site are providing jobs for local residents. The build-out will require a crew of skilled carpenters and masons. In addition, jobs will be created at the new retail outlets, including those associated with the opening of a second location of “Books & Brew”, a local restaurant and used bookshop.
Reinforcing the conservation goals of Natural Capital Investment Fund, recycled brick from the building will be used to construct the walkways in a new butterfly garden being constructed at a small private school in the Elk City neighborhood.
Anything that can bring a sense of community pride and put a smile on people’s faces is appreciated” ~ Tighe Bullock