GLENS FALLS — The Glens Falls Local Development Corp. has recommended giving grants to six businesses and eight nonprofits in the first round of funding awarded through the city’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
A total of $600,000 has been set aside from the $9.7 million the city received from the state for nonprofits and businesses to upgrade their facades and for a business start-up fund.
EDC Warren County President Edward Bartholomew said these are recommendations. As with other initiatives involving DRI money, state agencies have to sign off.
A total of $160,000 is going to nonprofits for capital improvements, marketing and administration. The LDC has recommended that grants be given to the following agencies: Adirondack Film Commission, $39,158; Adirondack Theater Film Festival, $39,158; the Charles R. Wood Theater, $39,158; the Glens Falls Senior Center, $22,500; the World Awareness Children’s Museum, $12,000; and the Chapman Museum, $8,026.
The Charles R. Wood Theater wants to install a catwalk to improve safety and efficiency for lighting crews setting up for shows.
The Adirondack Film Commission wanted funding for tasks including advertising, developing a website, attending trade shows and organizing tours for potential filming locations in Warren County. The Adirondack Theater Film Festival is using the money for licensing films, marketing, purchasing equipment and other needs, according to Bartholomew.
The World Awareness Children’s Museum is using its funding for an exhibit about water. The Chapman Museum is looking to put together a new website, showcasing its collection of historic photos, according to Bartholomew.
The senior center will use the grant to host an expo at the arena to educate senior citizens on various programs offered — not just at the center but in general.
“They will end up putting together a booklet of the various activities, programs that are available for senior citizens,” he said.
The nonprofits must provide a 25 percent match of the funding. The maximum grant award is $40,000. Board member Judy Calogero said the subcommittee that worked on the recommendations trimmed a bit from the three organizations that asked for the maximum award to fund as many nonprofits as possible.
North Country Arts is developing a website that ties into the city’s arts trail project. About $4,000 to $5,000 required for that project is going to be tapped from the $125,000 pot of money funding the city arts trail, Bartholomew said.
The LDC also recommended funding to upgrade the facades of these six businesses and one nonprofit:
- Thomas O’Neill received $25,000 to help upgrade the exterior of the Pine Street portion of the Union Square building, which fronts 9-15 Broad St. O’Neill is attempting to attract more commercial tenants.
- Hank’s Quality Flooring at 28 Elm St. received $19,321 to replace the front glass windows and put up new signs.
- Milk and Honey at 16 Exchange St. was awarded $2,947 toward replacing the lower front windows of the building, facing Exchange Street, with more energy-efficient windows of a similar color.
- Downtown City Tavern at 24 Elm St. received $25,000 to upgrade the exterior façade and install a patio awning, landscaping and pavers.
- The Association of Glens Falls Realty Partnership was awarded $25,000 to upgrade the face of the building at 228 Glen St. with new lighting, windows and electrical service and for repair and replacement.
- The owners of 126 Glen St. were awarded $25,000 toward upgrading the façade of the former Look-TV building at 126 Glen St. The owners are looking to put a restaurant on the first floor and a “work hub” with new businesses on the second and third floors.
- LARAC received $7,500 to improve its building’s interior, install new carpet and floor and LED lighting.
The city is placing the money in escrow. Businesses must complete the work and then be reimbursed. The awards to businesses require a 50-50 match.
Bartholomew said the hope is that these grants attract new businesses and inspire others to make upgrades.
“This really gives a shot in the arm, but they’re also coming up with investment as well,” he said.
The facade program remains open for applications, because there is $57,500 left of the $100,000 that had been set aside.