HPC says no vinyl windows in apartment building
Real estate executive Jason Free says the cost of aluminum-clad windows is an economic hardship.
The Rome Historic Preservation Commission has rejected another bid by real estate executive Jason Free for vinyl windows in his six-unit apartment building at 202 E. Fourth Ave.
Free sought an economic hardship declaration for the project Wednesday, claiming the cost of replacing 90 windows with aluminum-clad windows would add more than $100,000 to the cost of renovating the three-story building in Rome’s historic Between the Rivers District.
Free said the cost for vinyl windows was $703 per window as opposed to $1,828 for aluminum-clad windows.
Charles Norris, an HPC board member, asked if all the windows needed replacement right away. Free said only 19 windows were of immediate need to be replaced.
Norris and other HPC members suggested Free could phase in the replacement to spread out the cost.
“I have a burden to protect the historic district,” said HPC member Mary Sib Banks.
“I share your passion,” said Free, who added that the request was simply an issue of getting a reasonable return on his investment for the property.
HPC member Roger Wade said he felt like Free ought to be able to get a premium rent for the apartments once the renovations are completed.
Wade also said the increased rent could offset the additional cost of the window replacement.
Free said he was looking at $800 a month for rent, however Wade hinted that similar square footage in downtown Rome is going for well over $1,000 a month right now.
Free explained that his building does not have an elevator, and entering from the front is almost the equivalent of walking up two flights before a tenant gets to the first floor.
HPC board member Audrey Burton made the motion to deny the hardship.
“I think we would be setting a terrible precedent,” Burton said.
The vote to reject the economic hardship was unanimous, once again leaving Free with the option of all wood windows or aluminum-clad windows.
The Rome HPC has rejected a bid for vinyl replacement windows in this apartment building at 202 E. Fourth Ave.