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John and Nathan McGarity, from left, receive the Georgia Cities Foundation’s 2019 Renaissance Award from foundation Vice President Pam Sessions.

SAVANNAH — The Georgia Cities Foundation has selected Greensboro City Development LLC and its principals, John and Nathan McGarity, as the recipients of its 2019 Renaissance Award. The McGaritys accepted the award during the Georgia Municipal Association’s annual convention in Savannah June 23.

The Renaissance Award recognizes an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to the revitalization of one or more of Georgia’s cities. The recipient must have demonstrated a passion for vibrant, healthy cities and must have committed significant financial resources to projects that have stimulated quality development and investment in cities, the foundation said.

Greensboro City Development LLC has played a major role in the revitalization of downtown Greensboro, the foundation said. Its first investment in Greensboro was the Mary-Leila Lofts project, as it was the initial developer of this $12 million mill redevelopment project which now houses 71 workforce housing units in the downtown area.

The company has also rehabilitated the dilapidated former Chero Cola building in downtown Greensboro, which is now home to Oconee Brewing Company, a craft brewery and event center. This $2.7 million investment has turned a building that was once an eyesore into a tourist destination within this community of 3,300 residents, the Georgia Cities Foundation said.

In her remarks during the award presentation, Georgia Cities Foundation Vice President Pam Sessions shared more about the father-son duo’s passion for historic preservation.

“John McGarity often jokes that if the roof of a building is beginning to collapse, then it’s ‘our kind of building.’ Where others might view dilapidated buildings as too risky or too costly to rehabilitate, John and Nathan McGarity see them as opportunities,” she said.

The investments provided by John and Nathan McGarity have been key elements in the downtown revitalization of Greensboro, the foundation said. Additionally, the two have also served on the city’s housing team through and the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing. They currently serve on the city’s Placemaking Team.

Nathan McGarity is a Jackson resident.

“Without question, the McGaritys’ efforts have been instrumental in helping turn downtown Greensboro into a vibrant place to live, work and play,” Sessions said.

The Georgia Cities Foundation was originally established as 501©(3) in 1999 by GMA. The foundation’s primary mission is to assist cities in their efforts to revitalize and enhance downtown areas.

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