Yoakum NRD research in full swing
The effort to establish a National Register District (NRD) began last December when the YEDC discussed the idea with downtown building owners. After additional presentations with local banks, businesses, civic clubs and the city council, the YEDC allocated funding and selected a consultant to lead the effort. “The process takes at least a year”, said consultant Rebecca Borchers (otherwise known as Becky, a 1978 YHS graduate). “It begins with a Historic Resource Survey, which is a collection of detailed information, including historic photos, on every building in the proposed district”. By fall, Borchers will begin preparing the detailed application required by the Texas Historical Commission. After a state review early next year the nomination will go to the National Park Service for final approval.
Thanks to the generosity of the Yoakum Preservation Society, 2017 YHS graduate Jesse Berger will assist Rebecca this summer. Berger plans to attend the Texas A&M school of Architecture this fall.
Besides the prestige associated with a National Register District, there are financial benefits as well. Owners of contributing properties in the district can apply for state and federal tax credit renovations. With a savings of 25%-45%, bringing a historic building up to current building codes becomes feasible. And, with millennials still clamoring to live in cool and unique settings, Yoakum’s 80,000 square feet of unused upstairs space will be primed for an opportunistic downtown apartment developer.