$60,000 in downtown grants awarded to a dozen businesses, a dozen homeowners

Published 12:02 am Friday, December 17, 2021

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The city has awarded a dozen businesses and a dozen homeowners with a total of $60,000 in downtown grants to assist with exterior improvements and enhancements.

The Community Appearance Commission and the grant subcommittee of the Historic Preservation Commission made selections for the grants in September and October, and projects must be complete by the end of the fiscal year in June.

A number of businesses were awarded Innes Street Improvement grants, which can help merchants enhance their building facades, landscapes, driveways and parking lots. A maximum award of $5,000 is allowed per project. In total, $20,000 was granted for six businesses.

Salisbury’s Josh Barnhardt of Iron Horse Development and Pete Bogle of the Bogle Firm Architecture are working to create 12 one- to two-bedroom apartment units at 121 West Council St., to be called “Salisbury Building.” That project received $5,000 from the Innes Street Improvement grant program to repair and paint window sashes.

The “Salisbury Building” project is also boosted by a $150,000 grant from the National Park Service’s Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant program.

Waggoner Real Estate properties at 109-119 West Council St. received $3,445 for window and door painting. The site of the former Smoke Pit building, 115-117 East Innes St., received $3,243 for additional signage and an accessibility ramp.

The Sherrill and Cameron Law Office building at 117 West Council St. received $5,000 to install windows.

Meroney Theater, located at 213 South Main St., received $3,013 to repoint brick, while Off Main Galley at 114 East Council St. was granted $300 for the same purpose.

Since funds are limited, the CAC uses a scoring method ranging from 1-6 to prioritize projects with the most significant and visible design contributions to the district. Those receiving higher scores are eligible for the $5,000 maximum amount. The rubric awards projects with more points if new elements such as pedestrian amenities are introduced or a significant transformation is involved.

Similar to Innes Street Improvement Grants are Municipal Service District grants, which also assist downtown merchants with enhancements to their brick-and-mortar sites. Though many businesses may be eligible for both pools of funds, they’re only eligible for one grant award.

The largest grant of $6,024 was awarded to 116-118 West Innes St., which will soon be the site of a classic social game club to be called “STL Club.” City Council members approved a permit to operate the business during the Nov. 2 meeting. The grant will help Larry Roth, owner of Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar and the leader of the project, install awnings and window planter boxes.

Downtown Salisbury Inc. was granted $5,000 to install holiday lights along West Innes Street. The Walser Technology Group, located at 108 South Main St., was granted $1,000 to clean awnings, replace wood and paint the facade. The duplex rental property at 303 West Council St. was granted $950 for exterior paint.

Koco Java, located at 329 North Main St., was granted $2,140 for an awning, while St. John’s Lutheran Church received $4,886 for landscaping.

The Historic Preservation Incentive grant program provides up to $2,500 for exterior projects on owner-occupied homes in Salisbury’s four local historic districts, excluding downtown. Such grants help homeowners stabilize, preserve and maintain the historic character. Applicants are eligible for these funds every other year.

The city granted 12 homes with funding to help owners make necessary repairs to roofs, walkways, porches and trims, along with the installation of windows, wooden fences and railings. The following homes were selected for grant funding for the 2021-22 fiscal year:

• 1016 Scales St., awarded $3,750 for replacement of front walkway and steps and rear basement door

• 428 North Ellis St., awarded $2,200 for roof and fascia repairs and rebuild rear stairs

• 419 South Ellis St., awarded $2,850 for repainting trim

• 302 South Ellis St., awarded $1,300 to repair wooden architectural details

• 425 West Fisher St., awarded $1,900 to replace roof

• 527 West Liberty St., $1,900 to replace rear porch steps and repaint porch

• 507 South Fulton St., $1,800 to repair and replace bricks in carport

• 318 West Thomas St., $1,000 to repair front porch roof and paint

• 1013 North Main St., $1,000 to add railings on front steps and repaint the house

• 214 East Bank St., $500 to repaint house

• 229 West Bank St., $1,300 to install iron fencing and retain granite posts

• 126 East Steele St., $500 to install wooden fencing

Last month, the City Council approved new guidelines for the Downtown Revitalization Incentive grant program, which is still accepting applications until Jan. 28. Those grants help stimulate private investment and promote economic growth and historic revitalization in the downtown municipal district, and can help developers with obstacles often faced when rehabilitating aging infrastructure. For more information or to apply, visit salisburync.gov/Government/Community-Planning-Services/Grants-and-Incentives.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.