Downtown Rome has aggressively gone after low-interest loans available through several state community redevelopment programs.
Since the year 2000, Rome has received 30 state community development loans from various sources, including $3,458,250 from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and $2,356,900 from the Georgia Municipal Association’s Georgia Cities program.
Combined with loans from the Appalachian Regional Commission and a city fund, the money helped back 27 projects that have generated more than $23.5 million in private investment and 330 jobs in the downtown district.
Perry Hiott, director of research and development services with GMA, said Rome leads the way in netting loans through the Georgia Cities program.
“They have a real vibrant downtown,” Hiott said. “The city has good building stock, a lot of inventory, a large downtown footprint — just a lot of factors.”
Hiott said Rome, Augusta, Thomasville and Macon have had the most activity with the GMA loan program over the years, “but Rome is on top.”