Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

CEDC approves new facade grant program

The Clarendon Economic Development Corporation Board approved a new Historic Façade Grant Program following a public hearing Monday at City Hall.

The new program targets the city’s downtown with an aim to restore and preserve the historic look of the area.

Drawings like this one from the Texas Tech University College of Architecture are the basis of a new historic façade grant program from the Clarendon Economic Development Corporation. The program will encourage property owners to return their downtown buildings to their appearance between 1890 and 1927. Photo Illustration / CEDC & Texas Tech University

Eleven people attended the public hearing to ask questions about the proposed program.  Discussions at the hearing covered several topics, but focused primarily on sidewalk improvements, particularly the need for design standards for downtown sidewalks and whether the sidewalks are owned by the city or the property owners.

Based on those discussions, CEDC officials pulled sidewalks from the Historic Façade Grant Program for fiscal year 2018 to allow the program to get started right away. In the meantime, the CEDC will work with City Hall to develop a plan to address sidewalks and accessibility.

The new Historic Façade Grant Program will award grants of up to 80 percent of the actual, eligible costs up to a maximum amount of $400 per linear foot of the storefront (i.e. $10,000 for a 25-foot storefront or $20,000 for a 50-foot storefront).

The program’s focus is to preserve and cultivate the historic character of the Central Business District, specifically the 100, 200, and 300 blocks of South Kearney Street; the 100 and 200 blocks of South Sully Street; and commercial properties directly adjacent to the Courthouse Square. The program goal is to promote the historic look of downtown as it appeared between 1890 and 1927.

The CEDC will award applications based on a project’s compatibility with downtown drawings prepared by Texas Tech University and/or historic photographs.

Eligible project costs include: reconstruction, rehabilitation and preservation of the façade, façade cleaning, professional and consultant fees, tuck pointing, painting, and renovation or replacement of exterior lighting, signage, awnings, or other similar improvements.

Each applicant would have to meet certain criteria and submit detailed plans for their project for the CEDC board’s approval, and any change in the plans would have to be approved by the board.

Unlike the CEDC’s 2008 Façade Grant Program, which was available year-round, the new Historic Façade Grant Program applications will be considered once annually and will be scored against other applications.

Applications will be available February 12, 2018, with a deadline for final submission of May 1, 2018.

Applications and guidelines will be available at the Clarendon Visitor Center or online at ClarendonTX.com/cedc.  Potential applicants should meet with CEDC officials prior to applying.

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