Building owners make C.P. grants popular

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Building owners make C.P. grants popular

Postby Big Dog » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:02 pm

Building owners make C.P. grants popular

CROWN POINT | The city's downtown facade restoration grant program has been going so well that businesses are beginning to rush in applications for fear the money will run out.

So far, the Redevelopment Commission has approved $218,031 in grants of the $250,000 set aside for the program, which reimburses downtown business owners for exterior building improvements. To ease business owners' worries, the group agreed Monday to continue funding the program on a rolling basis.

Economic Development Director Frank Mosko said it's typical of this type of program that once a business successfully takes advantage of it, others see the process is painless and start submitting applications.

What's great about Crown Point, Mosko said, is that property owners seem interested in using the grant money to go the extra mile with restoration projects.

Right now a handful of buildings on the square are getting facelifts with the help of the city money, including the building at 100 S. Main St., which houses a massage school. Owner Frank Centofanti showed off plans Monday that aim to revive its original architecture, including recreating brick peaks.

The commission also approved a $50,000 grant application Monday by Tim Walsh and Dave Bryan to repair and restore the limestone front of the old Strudel Haus bakery at 208 S. Main St. Plans showed larger street level windows and lighting.

The application's success, however, is contingent on another review by the Historic Preservation Commission.

Redevelopment Commission member Rob Gardiner said he wanted to make sure the city followed all of the proper steps in going over the application. Mayor Dan Klein also reminded commission members that Tim Walsh sits on the city's Board of Works.

Crown Point facade restoration grants approved in 2005:
The Circle $8,250
Twelve Islands $122,000
Diamond Jim's $49,321
Centofanti Building $38,460 1/18/06
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