LandLink Completes Analysis of Downtown Loft Development

Over the past few months our team has had the pleasure of working with NewTown Macon, an urban revitalization nonprofit dedicated to Macon's historic downtown. One of their largest achievements in the past five years has been the development of over 17 loft apartment units in the urban core, thanks in large part to financing from NewTown's revolving bond fund. These lofts have had a tremendous and visible impact on our city, from the increase in downtown residents to the opening of new businesses such as Reboot Retrocade and Bar. What is less clear, however, is how the investment in loft renovations affected property values, a key measure of the local economy that determines property sale and rental rates, as well as local property taxes. That's where our team came in.

NewTown has conducted studies on the benefits of loft living in the past, but we at LandLink wanted to deliver a more comprehensive economic impact study. Our primary questions revolved around the change in property values downtown. How much did values change as a result of loft development? What effect did these changes have on local tax revenue? How efficient was NewTown's contribution to loft financing? How much more should be invested in loft development? All of these questions helped guide us in assessing the economic data and creating a detailed analysis. 

Our research concluded that loft development has had a significant positive impact in both downtown and the city of Macon as a whole. In total, an estimated $35.8 million was invested in loft development, resulting in over $52.3 million in property value appreciation from 2012 to 2018. NewTown's revolving bond fund contributed $3.7 million of that financing, helping to build seven of the eighteen lofts, which in total contributed $21.7 million to property values. After adding in the value of increased city tax revenues, NewTown leveraged over $23.4 million in impact for the city over just four years. By comparing this impact figure with the amount NewTown contributed to the lofts, we generated a return-on-investment of 532%. That means that for every dollar NewTown invested in loft development the city gained $5.32 in property values and tax revenues, which fund local services such as schools.

To read a more comprehensive summary of our work with NewTown, visit the portfolio section of our website. You can also find the complete analysis report at the bottom of the page, including a link to download the PDF to learn more about what NewTown is doing to improve our city.