A new nonprofit organization has been created to raise private capital as a way to add new residents and businesses in downtown Brunswick.
NewCity Brunswick is modeled after a nonprofit organization in Macon that is credited with the revitalization of the city’s downtown district.
NewCity Brunswick will use private capital to support residential development and redevelopment projects with creative financing tools and a revolving loan program. It is intended to fill the gap in conventional approaches to financing such projects and provide support to local businesses and startups through training and some financial assistance.
NewCity Brunswick is being designed explicitly to avoid duplication of existing agencies, such as the Downtown Development Authority, and city and county economic development departments and will work in complement to these partner groups.
“We will use the best of what they did in Macon, but we need an approach that works best in our hometown,” said Jack Kilgore, chairman of the Coastal Georgia Foundation.
The decision to establish NewCity Brunswick was the result of research and a trip to Macon in May to see first hand the city’s ongoing renaissance. The business leaders who went on the fact-finding trip concluded a key to continued growth in downtown Brunswick will be dependent on adding more housing downtown.
“Through discussions among stakeholders, it became clear if we focus on attracting residents, businesses will follow,” said Paul White, president and CEO of Coastal Georgia Foundation.
Justin Callaway, a local businessman and private equity advisor, has been named the nonprofit’s president.
“I look forward to leading the action-focused NewCity Brunswick organization,” Callaway said. “Our work will facilitate a range of activities, accelerate the pace of progress, and serve in support of others to be the long-sought catalyst for Brunswick’s turnaround.”
The Coastal Georgia Foundation will serve as NewCity Brunswick’s fiscal sponsor and is able to receive charitable contributions to support NewCity’s mission.
“Already, we have received pledges that amount to about 15 percent of our initial operating goal, and we are excited by the early support from the community,” Callaway said.
White expressed optimism about the effort to revitalize downtown Brunswick.
“We believe this will be a big day for Brunswick and the hopes and dreams everyone has to bring fresh vitality to downtown,” White said.