- Associated Press - Friday, February 12, 2016

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) - A developer hopes his plans to restore a pair of nearly 150-year-old buildings will help transform a north-side neighborhood in Charlotte.

Anthony Faulkner, owner of Precedent Properties, purchased the dilapidated buildings, which housed the Charlotte Chair Company from 1912 to 1988, for about $50,000. He has spent the past year cleaning out the interiors, clearing away weeds and overgrowth and securing the buildings.

Faulkner can envision multiple uses for the building, including a restaurant or brew pub, apartments, a place for a new manufacturing business or office space, he told the Lansing State Journal (http://on.lsj.com/20Zir6m ).

He plans to invest between $600,000 and $2.75 million in the building’s rehabilitation and marketing over the next four or five years.

The project will be the largest investment in commercial property that Charlotte has seen in years, according to city officials.

Precedent Properties started investing in Charlotte three years ago and it now owns five properties in the city, including an office downtown.

Faulkner believes renovating the buildings would be a step in the right direction toward improving the north side of the city.

“There were many people who wanted it torn down,” Faulkner said. “I’m recovering it because I have the vision to see what it could actually be and I was willing to put the heart, money and soul into it.”

And city leaders, who have been considering the future of that north-side neighborhood for the last few years, agree with him.

“These buildings on North Cochran are in an important location,” said Charlotte City Manager Gregg Guetschow. “We certainly would like to have visitors to the community see a building that advertises the best attributes of Charlotte and not just be another dilapidated building.”

On Monday, city officials approved a 12-year obsolete property rehabilitation exemption certificate for the buildings, which will freeze their taxable value in an effort to free up more funds for the renovation.

Faulkner will put those extra funds to good use because he doesn’t believe in cutting corners.

“I’m not the guy that goes in and buys the cheapest thing, whips through with drywallers and covers up everything he can,” Faulkner said. “I start everything from scratch. I take the extra time and set a precedent.”

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Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com

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