Downtown facade grants approved

Published 10:14 pm Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Economic Development Authority on Wednesday approved grants totaling $70,000 for a development that will create 67 new loft apartments and five commercial spaces downtown.

Monument Construction is renovating seven adjacent buildings in the 100 block of West Washington Street, most of which have been vacant for many years. They plan to create 57 one-bedroom apartments and 10 two-bedroom apartments, as well as the ground-floor commercial spaces.

The façade grant program helps pay for exterior improvements to commercial buildings in the city’s downtown as well as certain entry corridors. After approval by the EDA, the program matches up to a maximum of $10,000 in costs per building.

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Because the project includes seven buildings — even though they’re all attached — the project qualifies for $70,000 in grants, Economic Development Director Kevin Hughes said.

The developer will be spending well more than that amount in its own money. The exterior work alone will cost more than $210,000, according to estimates submitted with the façade grant application.

Work includes window and door refurbishing and replacements, masonry repair, installation of new storefronts, painting, new awnings and lighting, marble repair and more.

Project manager Wayne Slusser said the work will begin to take shape around the end of summer 2014.

“This is going to enhance our downtown,” EDA member Dwight Nixon said.