TCW loan request one step closer

TROY — Troy Community Works — a nonprofit whose focus is to rehabilitate buildings and homes in Troy — is one step closer to obtaining a large $850,000 forgivable loan from the city of Troy’s federal community development block grant fund.

The loan request is for Troy Community Works’ next project located at 1-3 E. Main Street, also known as the Coleman-Saidleman building in the northeast quadrant of the public square.

The loan was first approved by the Downtown Building and Repair Fund Loan committee and was positively received and recommended to city council by city council’s building committee on Monday.

President Richard Dinsmore said Troy Community Works’ intent is to take any funds from tenants and reinvest it with other projects and maintenance of its other building such as the East Gate building, which was renovated in 2013.

Dinsmore said Troy Community Works was looking to rehabilitate homes for rental property in the Troy area when the Coleman-Saidleman building came up for sale.

“This fell into our lap and will be our focus,” said Dinsmore after the meeting on Monday.

Dinsmore, a Troy native, currently is a consultant for Crown and has a background in industrial design.

The building is currently vacant and was best known for its David’s Shoe Store business, which occupied the space until 1998. The late Stewart Lipp, along with wife of 60 years, Marilyn, owned the building and were the longtime owners of David’s Shoe Store on the Public Square from 1936-1998. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The loan is a 30-year conventional loan with 0 percent interest and 20 percent deferral up to five years or when the building is occupied.

According to the committee report, 20 percent of the loan will be forgiven at the end of each year until a $0 balance, on the condition that by the end of year five or earlier, or the building rehab includes all three floors ready for occupancy. If the condition is not met, the remaining balance of the loan will convert to a 3 percent, 25 year term loan.

At Monday’s meeting, Troy Development Council’s Jim Dando said the building is in need of repair, including its roof which needs replaced.

The listing price is $200,000 due to the current condition of the building.

“The building in recent years has had its first floor occupied, but the second and third floors of the building have been vacant for a number of years,” Dando said. “The building needs significant investment in it, rather than just new owners. Troy Community Works has a different vision. They are looking at actual improvements, starting with the roof and starting with the exterior appearance.”

Dando answered questions about the federal loan fund which receives grants which have gradually decreased over the years from $100,000 per year to around $75,000 per year. Dando said the federal government has encouraged state programs to recapture “stagnant” funds, like the city of Troy’s, or not grant additional funds until they are used. Troy’s Community Development Block Grant program currently has $855,000 in available funds, but is replenished with payments approximately by $168,000 per year, officials said. The city has nearly $385,000 in its own small business loan fund that is not federally funded for future city project requests.

Most loans are repaid back to the fund for future projects, and the Troy Community Works’ request for a forgivable loan “is unusual” Dando said, but worthy of the funds.

Council will consider the request at Monday’s regular council meeting at 7 p.m. July 6.