In a small community, curb appeal can determine the ability of a business to not only survive in today’s marketplace, but to also thrive.
These last days of winter offer building owners an opportunity to evaluate the condition of their property to decide what maintenance or renovation is needed this construction season.
While many of our downtown buildings have been renovated, some are showing significant wear and tear, such as rotting window trim, peeling paint, bricks in need of tuck pointing and, in some cases, faded and worn awnings.
Fortunately there’s good news, said Vickie Phillipson, Chamber of Commerce and DDA program director.
While the renovation of building facades is more than just spring cleaning, thanks to Mayor and Council, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) continues to offer financial assistance to downtown building owners who renovate their front facades. Monies appropriated by Council from the City's economic development budget, to fund the $10,000 annual Facade Incentive & Architectural Design Services Program, continue to be used to rejuvenate downtown storefronts.
The incentive is administered on a matching funds basis. Property owners are eligible to receive up to $2,000 for front facade renovation. Double storefronts may receive up to $4,000. The Design Review Committee will also consider a secondary side of a building, if it constitutes a major presence in the central business district.
“With several properties having recently changed ownership and others that are following suit, we anticipate several projects will move forward this construction season,” Phillipson said. “As a result, applications will be considered on a first-come, first-ready basis.”
Last year the program awarded $6,000. Property owners Jacqueline Hale and Steve Roll made use of the Facade program to renovate the exterior of Spa-toe-Pia and Art Found Gallery.