Greenfield recently awarded grants to more than a dozen downtown building owners as part of its newly-implemented Facade Improvement Program to help fuel the revitalization of the village’s historic downtown.
There were 25 applications for the program totaling approximately $1.1 million. The village is using its $477,000 share of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds to fund this first round of grants. It is hoped that partnerships with the township and the county will facilitate more funding.
Once that investment is made in the downtown, “we will have created an energy, we will have created excitement and hopefully we will see continued success and growth. And the revolving loan fund created for the 50/50 improvement program will also be available for future development and future growth downtown,” city manager Todd Wilkin said.
Work has already begun on a few of the properties and more is coming in the next few months.
The 13 buildings/businesses that received the facade improvement grant and the work that is planned for the buildings follows:
* 232 Jefferson St., Robbins Village Florist — This Greenfield mainstay will receive a new roof, be painted, and have a mural added. Robbins has been at this location for 28 years.
* 259 Jefferson St., Corner Pharmacy —This historic building originally built in 1899 as the Harper Hotel has been a pharmacy since 1948. It is going to see a newly-paved parking lot, repaired cedar siding, brick restoration, updating of the signage, and painting that will see a lot of the current color scheme to more match that of 253 and 257 Jefferson St. Painting will also be done on the facades of 253 and 257 Jefferson St. Though not a part of the grant, the option is being explored to bring the windows on the second and third floors back to a look more original to the building.
* 303 Jefferson St., Judkins and Hayes — The law office will get some roof repair, new doors and windows, the stone facade cleaned, and the familiar green glass tile will be replaced with a stone facade to better match the stone facade that’s above the storefront. There will also be a new sign.
* 335 Jefferson St., Bivens Law/Fout Realty — The law/realty office will receive a new roof and HVAC system, new paint and gutters at the rear, new paint and sign above the awning, and repairing of the east wall where another building used to stand.
* 251 Jefferson St. — This building is getting a new roof, windows fixed, new paint, a new interior door that leads to upstairs apartments, new awning out front, and lighting.
* 340 Jefferson St., The Art Rookery — Mosaic tile will replace stone that is not original to the building, there will be a new door and transom, flower boxes will be added at the windows, new signage with respect to the history of the building, a bench with mosaic, and an all new HVAC system.
* 380 Jefferson St., Murray-Fettro Funeral Home — The exterior of the funeral home and the carriage house will be painted and some of the HVAC system replaced.
* 305 Jefferson St., Upp Physical Therapy — Windows will be replaced as the current ones are aged and some are falling apart. Outside of the grant, the building owner will also be freshening the facade with new paint.
* 140 S. Washington St., Paint Creek Vet Clinic — A green space owned by the business that sits across from the clinic will be seeing improvement with the replacement of the sidewalk and curbs and the addition of parking spaces, all while maintaining some green space. Benches are also planned for the space.
* 126 S. Washington St., Walls Family Insurance — The building will be painted, windows and trims replaced, and the exterior lighting repaired.
* 330 Jefferson St. — There there will be roof repair, some structural brick repair and brick restoration, window restoration, and paint removed from the brick.
* 116 N. Washington St., Ivy and Twigs — Another mainstay in Greenfield, this building will get a new roof, new HVAC system, awnings, and hopefully the addition of wrought iron railings at the windows.
“The revitalization work that has been done in Greenfield so far has been tremendous, and the facade improvement program will just add to that,” said Jason Duff, founder of Small Nation, a group of small business owners in Bellefontaine that together transformed its downtown. “The grant program is a unique and great use of funds for the village. Improving the outward look of downtown buildings inspires a community and leads to a snowball effect of positive change, as people are able to better picture and imagine how the downtown can be improved further. After Small Nation toured Greenfield, we were impressed with the potential of the village and are looking forward to working together with the village to turn that potential into reality.”
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the village of Greenfield.