Salisbury awards grants for downtown revitalization projects

Published 12:04 am Thursday, May 4, 2023

SALISBURY — Downtown Salisbury is getting another wave of rejuvenation. On Tuesday night, city council approved of five downtown revitalization incentive grants totaling $250,000 that will go towards funding a portion of five different construction projects.

“Each of these grants help stimulate private investment. They’re designed to promote new development and rehabilitation in our downtown, with an emphasis on getting more downtown residential units,” Urban Design Planner Alyssa Nelson said.

The grants fall under three categories: building rehabilitation, residential creation and fire suppression. The grant program began in 2014 with revisions being made to the guidelines last year to include a seven member review committee, made up of representatives from a variety of local organizations, and to create a scoring matrix to calculate how much of the $250,000 budget to give out to each project.

All five applicants were given a score for each of the three grants based on the kind of work that will take place. The committee totaled those three scores and whoever received the most points would get the most money.

This year, the city agreed to give 126 North Main $127,697; South Main Book Company $23,381; Beaux-Arts Building $48,561; Bankett Station-211 Apartments $37,769; and the historic Cheerwine Building $12,589. These are considered reimbursement grants, meaning the city will not spend any money until the project is officially completed. Applicants will have to submit all of their receipts to the city in order to confirm the agreed-upon work was actually done. The city will also do site inspections for all five buildings.

The property at 126 North Main will use the money to make general improvements on the building, add eight residential units, two store fronts, and a back-alley fire suppression connection. South Main Book Company will make renovations to their basement and upgrade their entrance. Beaux-Arts Building will be creating three apartments, renovate the commercial retail space and make other cosmetic changes. Bankett Station-211 Apartments will be adding nine apartments. The historic Cheerwine Building is converting three commercial units into residential living spaces.

The total projected investment on all five buildings will be $4,332,062. Expected city and municipal service district tax revenue is $387,979 over 10 years.