THOMASVILLE — Up is the direction downtown Thomasville should take, said a downtown business owner who is doing exactly that.
Grassroots Coffee Company, 116-118 S. Broad St., is about to take on a new look and function.
In addition to being a popular downtown place to dine, sip coffee and relax on the first floor, second and third floors of the building are about to become residential.
"Up is the direction downtown Thomasville needs to grow," said Spencer Young, Grassroots owner.
Seven loft-type dwellings will be established on second and third floors, along with a rooftop space for Grassroots-sponsored bands, movies and tasting dinners, among other activities.
"It will also be available for rent to the public for events," said Young, who operates in a partnership with Ed Millere.
Residential units will be available for long- and short-term use. Long-term occupants will be on a lease basis. Short-term lifts will be designed for rental to vacationing tourists or others interested in short stays.
"They can rent it by the night, as well," Young said.
He thinks the lofts being on Broad Street will be a big draw for people visiting the city to attend events.
Furnished small lofts will have one bedroom, one bath and square footage of 600 to 700 square feet. At 1,100 to 1,200 square feet, unfurnished larger lofts will have two bedrooms and one or two baths.
Details about pricing for the lofts are in the final stages, Young said. A website will be established to provide information about floor plans and pricing.
The facade of the building will remain the same. Front windows will be updated, and windows will be added to sides of the two upper floors. Exteriors door installed on the rear of the structure will open onto a terrace and beer deck.
The entrance to living quarters will be on Broad. An elevator will be installed.
The Downtown Development Authority and Historic Preservation Commission approved the project.
Young has applied for two low-interest loans — $149,156 from the Downtown Development Authority revolving loan fund through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and a maximum loan of $250,000 from Georgia Cities Foundation. He has other finding set up through a local bank.
Young told Thomasville City Council members Wednesday talks are underway with downtown landowners about leasing parking spaces for those staying at Grassroots lofts.
"We hope to work that out soon," Young told council members.
He is looking at a 2020 completion date for the project.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820