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home : news : news October 19, 2019

9/6/2019 12:13:00 PM
City Approves Up-Scale Restaurant Incentives
City Owned Property at 110-116 Water Street --- The buildings total approximately 7,854 square feet and are all contributing buildings in Lincolnton’s historic commercial district, a National Register District.(Photos Courtesy Lincolnton City Council)
City Owned Property at 110-116
Water Street --- 
The buildings total
approximately 7,854 square feet and
are all contributing buildings in
Lincolnton’s historic commercial
district, a National Register District.

(Photos Courtesy Lincolnton City Council)


Steve Payseur
Staff Writer


LINCOLNTON, N.C. - The City Council took a big step to lure upscale restaurants to the downtown area. Called the Targeted Incentive Program, the funding would be in the form of a forgivable loan. The recipients of this loan would have to meet some very strict conditions.

Those eligible for the program are new full service/full menu restaurants in downtown Lincolnton. Existing restaurants in the downtown area would also be eligible if they:

  • Renovate an existing kitchen to make into a full commercial kitchen in order to offer a full menu.
  • Renovate a current full service/full menu restaurant’s physical space to expand the restaurant’s capacity.

The funding for the Targeted Incentive Program is limited to a maximum of $200,000 dollars and must be matched 1:1 by the property owner and the project must be approved before opening or expanding the restaurant. If the restaurant meets the program requirements and remains at the location for 5 years the loan is forgiven. A collateral, the owner will give the City a deed of trust and add the City as an additional beneficiary or lien holder on insurance policies.

In addition to the proposed requirements, the City Council added that as part of the application that the menu be part of the qualifier, that chain restaurants may apply and could be approved by the Council, and the credit worthiness of the restaurant operator will be assessed.

These are in addition to complying with all other program requirements, including the owner’s credit score of 740 or above, and no outstanding liens.

There is also a list of eligible and non-eligible expenditures. Some of the non-eligible expenditures include, exterior renovations, signage, general maintenance, refinishing floors, walls or ceilings, replacing windows or doors, and non-fixed items among others.

The full plan including timelines expenditures and costs must be approved by the City Council and depends upon the availability of funds and may be discontinued by the City at any time.



1 - Jackie Dameron Farm Bureau

City Owned Property at 110-116 Water Street.

The City Council also authorized a Request for Proposal (RFP) for property located at 110-116 water Street. The RFP seeks proposals from development teams for design, construction, management, and operation of a high quality, full service/full menu restaurant. This process will be very selective.

This restaurant would be required to have at least 100 seats, feature a broad menu, be open 6 days and 40 hours per week, preserve the existing building, and assurance of developer performance with a performance bond.

The selection criteria will include: 

  • Being consistent with the RFP development goals.
  • Quality of the proposed restaurant menu, etc.
  • Team experience and success with similar projects.
  • Team financial capacity and viability of the proposal.
  • Extent of public participation.
  • Proposed price or lease terms.
  • Timeline

The advertising of the RFP is to begin on September 6, 2019 and awarding of the contract is scheduled for November 12, 2019 if sufficient responses are received.

Detailed information is available for both of these items can be obtained by contacting the Lincolnton City Manager’s Office.


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4 - Tonya Warlick - SonShine


Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2019
Article comment by: Anna Peppard

Think A Mall in our Town, would , be Great.



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