Former Coca-Cola Plant to get Facelift

1 decade 10 months 6 days ago November 18, 2005 Nov 18, 2005 Friday, November 18 2005 Friday, November 18, 2005 9:17:18 PM CST in News

The historic preservation commission will decide in January whether the Coke plant will be eligible for the tax credit.  Three downtown Columbia businesses plan to move in to the old Coca-Cola plant on Hitt street.

Friday morning, the building was nominated for historic recognition. That recognition would make building owners eligible for state tax credits. Money from the state tax credits would help move building plans forward.

"It's definitely a supporting building, it's an industrial building from the mid 30's," said building owner Paul Sturtz, "but really when you get down to it, there aren't really that many of those downtown, so it's important that we preserve it."

The old Coca-Cola bottling plant on Hitt street dates back to 1935.

"We're going to try and keep the architectural elements and keep that industrial feel," said Sturtz.

Keeping that history can be costly.

"Without the tax credits, it becomes a very marginal  investment, it makes it more difficult to finish the building in the way we'd like to finish it," Sturtz said.

The old Coke plant would become the tenth downtown building to receive the designation. The Blue Note and two buildings at the corner of 9th and Cherry are among the renovated buildings.

"When the building was put on the historic register, it opened me up to the tax credits Which makes it easier for someone like myself or a small company to afford to do that kind of thing," said Blue Note owner Richard King.

King used the credits to add more than 200 new seats in the balcony. The owner of the old Coke plant hopes to follow that example.

Sturtz says he wants to keep renovations simple here, first by fixing up the floor and keeping the original brick work in tact, he says one of the most important historical aspects he'd like to use the tax credit for a stairway.

The 8,500 square foot space will house Ragtag Cinema cafe, 9th street video, and Uprise Bakery.

The historic preservation commission will decide in January whether the Coke plant will be eligible for the tax credit.

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