The following article is copied from the web archive of Dec. 22, 2008 of the old VHCA website . (Editor, 8/22/2012)
On Thursday, December 4, 2008, the Virginia-Highland Civic Association (“VHCA”) closed on the purchase of the two lots adjacent to N. Highland Avenue at 1076 and 1082 St. Charles Place. These two lots are currently vacant (they are the site of the former public library), and the intention is to turn them into green space.
The financing was through the Georgia Land Conservation Revolving Loan Fund. Due to a recent change in this loan program (passed by the Georgia Legislature, effective July 1, 2008), non-governmental (non-profit) entities may now apply for low-cost financing, and the VHCA was the first non-profit in the State of Georgia to secure such funds under the new rules. The interest rate is 3%, and our loan term is 15 years. The VHCA will fund payments on the property until private (individual/ corporate/ grant) funds can be raised to pay off the loan. We must complete the design for the park by January 2010, and construction by January 2011.
The loan program includes a requirement that the financed project be one that pertains to land conservation, with a water quality benefit. The space will therefore be used for a passive park and “rain garden” – utilized for recreation, walking, community gathering and educational programs for the residents of Virginia-Highland… and what better location for a passive park than in the heart of Atkins Park!
A special “thank you” is extended to Sandy d’Aprile, who acted as real estate agent for the VHCA, without compensation, and to Paul Burks, VHCA Board Member, who did extensive legwork to support the VHCA’s application for financing to the Georgia Land Conservation Program. We now have over $800,000 to raise, to pay off the loan, so we need to get very busy and begin our fundraising efforts!!!