Legacy Decatur approves new tenant leases for Williams, Hemphill Cottages – Decaturish


Decatur, Georgia – The Refugee Women’s Network will soon have a new home at Williams Cottage at Legacy Park in Decatur. Wild Nest will also soon occupy Hemphill Cottage in the park, as Legacy Decatur’s board of directors approved the leases with the organizations at the board meeting on Thursday, July 22.

Legacy Decatur is the board of directors that oversees Legacy Park, the former property of the United Methodist Children’s Home on South Columbia Drive.

The Refugee Women’s Network is a non-profit organization that provides support, leadership training and economic development courses to refugee women. The organization is currently based in Tucker but is keen to move to Legacy Park to be closer to its clientele in Clarkston and also a more central part of DeKalb County, said Lyn Menne, executive director of Legacy Decatur.

The Williams Cottage will serve as offices for the organization and provide space for classes and training for the women they serve. The lease also includes the use of two commercial kitchen spaces at Hawkins Hall which would be modernized by RWN for use as a training kitchen and to house the nonprofit Chef’s Club program, according to the agenda.

The lease is for five years to be able to give RWN more stability as it is an established organization and is moving its entire office to Legacy Park, Menne said.

“It also gives us, I think, some coverage because there will be investments that we will make, so it would be nice for a tenant to occupy that space for five years,” Menne said.

Legacy Decatur will modernize a bathroom to meet ADA requirements and install a ramp on the north side of the building. RWN will also benefit from a two month rent reduction.

“The term of the first year, with this two-month allowance, will generate $ 30,830 in rental income, then the second term of the lease, which will come into effect in September 2022, for this entire period, an increase of 3% would be d ‘approximately $ 38,000. one year for annual income, ”Menne said.

She added that the lease aligns with Legacy Decatur’s mission and she thinks the lease is important as RWN works with various communities, does things that will support and engage community groups, and has a strong relationship with Global Growers.

The second lease is with Wild Nest, a non-profit organization formed to provide care and rehabilitation to wild birds with the aim of releasing them into the wild. Wild Nest will operate from Hemphill Cottage and the lease is for three years.

Wild Nest was originally created under the umbrella of Georgia Audubon and now exists as an independent, non-profit organization. The Legacy Park chalet will provide a small office for staff and volunteers, as well as space to house injured birds and chicks and provide necessary medical care, according to the agenda.

Plans for the Hemphill Cabin include building a small aviary near the cabin in the future to provide a transition for birds preparing to be released. Wild Nest also discussed participating in community education programs to talk about birds and how to rehabilitate birds, Menne said.

Wild Nest will benefit from a three month rent reduction. Legacy Decatur would receive approximately $ 15,500 in rent in the first year and in the second year approximately $ 22,600.

“It fits our mission, provides this community education and partnership and it’s something different that we don’t have anywhere else on the property,” Menne said.

– In other cases, the Decatur Land Trust has moved closer to becoming an independent, not-for-profit organization as the Legacy Decatur board has expressed support for the transition although the board has yet to officially voted on separation.

The Land Trust was established a few years ago and a five member board of directors was appointed by Legacy Decatur in 2019. The Land Trust has always planned to become a stand-alone nonprofit and it is ready to go. forward with the process.

Thanks to the land trust, the city will be able to acquire property by purchase or donation and facilitate the development or preservation of affordable housing. The entity would also maintain the ground lease for affordable units to keep them affordable over time as the units are resold and leased, Decaturish previously said.

“We believe the timing for the establishment is consistent with several pending projects looming on the horizon, including cottage lots and a deed-restricted condominium project that has been created at 108 Park Place in the part of the inclusive housing policy of the city of Decatur, ”said an affordable housing scholar. Kristin Allin said at the city of Decatur commission meeting on June 7.

The Land Trust has been working on its statutes and made some changes to be more specific about the mission of the organization, said Alan McNabb, board member of Decatur Land Trust, at the meeting of Legacy Decatur. One of the changes was the addition of a provision allowing the city manager and the mayor of Decatur to each appoint a member to the board of directors of Decatur Land Trust.

“We got a resolution supporting the creation of the City Commission’s Decatur Land Trust,” McNabb said. “We still have work to do but we are ready to train it. The articles are prepared. The statutes, I think, will hopefully be ready in the next few weeks. ”

Menne said Legacy Decatur cannot see itself moving away from the Decatur Land Trust as there will be opportunities for the two organizations to partner and work together in the future.

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