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Aging Facades on Savannah's Broughton Street Get Historic Restoration From Ben Carter Enterprises

SAVANNAH, Ga., Oct. 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With an eye on returning three-dozen buildings on Broughton Street to their former historic glory, Ben Carter Enterprises is readying the next stage of its $100 million renovation project: restoring the buildings' facades.

To undertake this ambitious facelift, Ben Carter has teamed with Savannah-based Hansen Architects, which has won numerous awards for its historic preservation work, including from The Historic Savannah Foundation, and Heritage Consulting Group, a national leader in historic tax credit redevelopment.

"Our combined efforts will transform these neglected storefronts on Broughton Street into the rich, beautiful, historic structures they once were," said Ben Carter, founder of Ben Carter Enterprises. "In the process, our restoration will generate several millions of dollars in revenue, create hundreds of new jobs, and attract new tourists to Savannah."

When completed, Carter will have helped restore the once-bustling retail corridor and reintroduced more than 225,000 square feet of retail and restaurant locations. The overall project is expected to generate over $100 million in new retail sales annually, result in $7 million of needed new sales tax revenues for Georgia and Chatham County, produce new property tax revenue, and create over 600 new jobs.

Highlights of the façade restoration include removing unattractive concrete and stucco that covers some of the storefronts. At both 32 and 118 East Broughton Street, both built in the late 1800s, crews will remove concrete panels that will reveal historic brickwork and, on the upper floor, window openings. The historic features on both buildings have been hidden from view for the past 50 years.

At 110 West Broughton Street, which was built in 1860 and once occupied by Century Furniture Company, stucco paneling will be removed to reveal the historic masonry brick structure and windows on the upper levels.

"It is a great opportunity for Hansen Architects to be involved in restoring numerous buildings on Broughton Street," said Hansen's Patrick Phelps, AIA, LEED AP. "It also is a great opportunity for Savannah because these restorations are correcting the mistakes of the past and revealing Broughton Street's original, historic fabric."

In a show for his commitment to the beautification of Broughton Street, Carter has added temporary planters while he works with the city, Savannah Downtown Business Association and others to develop a permanent plan for streetscape enhancement, maintenance and activities. Carter recently announced a $6.5 million plan to revitalize streetscapes, a project that will hinge on a collaborative effort between the developer, the city of Savannah and Chatham County.

Carter also hopes to utilize historic tax credits to help finance the beautification project. Heritage Consulting Group, a nationally recognized advisor to the owners and developers of older and historic buildings, is assisting him in that effort.

"We are pleased to help make possible Ben Carter's vision for Broughton Street through the use of historic tax credits," said Cindy Hamilton, vice president of Heritage Consulting Group. "Projects like this help revitalize cities while preserving – and in this case, returning – the rich history of abandoned and long-forgotten buildings."

When completed, the overall project will include 30 new local, regional and international retailers, eight buildings to house restaurants, and potentially 40 loft apartments. Carter also is in talks with three boutique hotels.

"The new business coming to Broughton Street will provide great energy and a variety of experiences," Carter said. "Yet the dream is for the street, its sidewalks and its pedestrian experience to be a charming showcase for the best events and a gathering place for residents and visitors alike."

To learn more, please visit bencarterenterprises.com. Also, historical and present day photos can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/1CPAsbe.

CONTACT: For more information, contact: Tony Wilbert The Wilbert Group 404-254-1487 (O) 404-405-3656 (C) twilbert@thewilbertgroup.com

Source: BenCarter Enterprises