$270Ok in state grant cash awarded to assist renovate former J.W. Woolworth constructing in Johnson Metropolis | WJHL

JOHNSON CITY, Tennessee (WJHL) – Back in April, Tennessee lawmakers allocated $ 4 million to revitalize historic buildings across the state.

The money comes in the form of a grant that finances 30% of the renovation costs up to $ 300,000.

“The historic redevelopment grant depends on the investments you make and the cost of construction,” said Dianna Cantler, interim director of the Johnson City Development Authority. “That year, Governor Lee decided to give a historic revitalization grant instead of a tax credit. It was a $ 5 million pilot allocation in his budget. “

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Deer Trail 4, LLC., A Johnson City development company, is one of 26 to receive the scholarship.

“We actually applied for four different properties and only one got the grant, so we have several other options that will hopefully provide even more money,” said Cantler. “It’s probably one of the greatest elements of the historical revival Johnson City has seen in decades.”

Deer Trail 4 is owned by Joyce Smith and her family. They spent almost a year buying the former FW Woolworth building.

“It was built in 1907 and has a historical certificate,” said Smith. “It was Pedigro’s, which was originally a dry goods store. We think that was the first use. Then at some point it became a Woolworth, so it has a lot of history and charm. “

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They received $ 270,000 in the grant and hope to renovate the building for mixed-use businesses.

“The facade, significant damage was done when it was covered. So this fellowship is really going to allow us not to compromise and really bring it back to its original life, ”said Smith. “We reckon the facade will likely cost around $ 800-900,000 to recreate the original, but we’re not sure what it will cost about the building itself.”

The Smiths currently reside in New Mexico and have corporate apartments there and in Atlanta. You have family in the Tri-Cities and are planning to move. The family also owns the building adjacent to the Woolworth Building, which houses Johnson City Brewing and several other businesses.

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“I’d really like to bring something that brings pedestrian traffic here, to bring that energy back and bring more customers to the companies that are already here,” said Smith.

She’s not sure how long the renovations will take, but she’s hoping to recruit companies to use the upper section for offices and restaurants or retail for the lower section.

“We have seven offices. We plan to keep offices of any size they want so they can be ‘custom built’, ”said Smith. “We are so excited that we received it so that we can do what we want with the building and keep it as a historic landmark.”

This story – in the hope that through the scholarship with his Guidelines to maintain historical integrity.

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“Not only does it encourage property owners to invest in their property, but it also encourages getting it right. So that the investment you make lasts for decades, ”says Cantler. “You might give people money, but it will cost them a little more to do the project because they have to follow a certain standard. Instead of just walking in and saying ‘we’re just going to put wood siding in here’ they have to find a carpenter who can match what is already there or if there are pictures they need to match what the building looked like at a given time. “

The grants also encourage investors to renovate the buildings at the front end.

“Instead of sitting on a building and waiting for something to happen, she’s actually driving it forward. It gives them the incentive to find the money instead of leaving it empty, ”said Cantler. “When you have a lot in the middle of a block that is so desolate and boarded up with no activity going on, it’s very disheartening for the people who have already invested in their lot. It is also more difficult for us to recruit new companies. “

In addition to creating jobs and new business in this area, there is hope that other locations on Main Street will follow suit.

“Often times we can do a project on one block and then the rest of the buildings may make further facade improvements based on the investments made,” said Cantler. “When we have all these buildings that are being restored, everyone wants to be in them. We can bring in new companies. “

Also in the area, LMD Technologies received $ 60,000 in Greeneville for the refurbishment of a building on Depot Street.

Awards were given according to the first-come-first-served principle. Part of the funds was reserved for level 3 and 4 projects in rural communities until December 31, 2021. Johnson City is a tier 2 community.

State offers cash to avoid wasting, renovate Riverview Ice Home

ROCKFORD (WREX) – The Riverview Ice House was on the verge of the cost of renovating the facility last year, but the community insisted on keeping it. Government funds are now helping to save it.

The Ice House has been a downtown Rockford landmark for nearly 45 years.

“As we know, there is a threat of closure and the renovation needs money,” said Democratic Senator Steve Stadelman on Wednesday afternoon at a press conference with Governor JB Pritzker.

In October, the Rockford Park District announced plans to close the ice house, citing the high maintenance costs, however The park district’s decision brought broad social support for the facility.

“The community will always take the park district further than we can, as will the staff, within our available resources,” said Jay Sandine, executive director of Rockford Park District.

But when the new Illinois budget was passed in Springfield, the park district received some of the money it needed to save the $ 2.5 million facility.

Stadelman says this is “to ensure that children from all over the community can continue their ice-cream activities”.

The money will be used for two sheets of ice, a new cooling system and the renovation of the changing rooms, but these are just some of the work that will be needed in the ice house.

“The total project to renovate Riverview is around $ 6 million,” says Sandine.

But the $ 2.5 million state government still leaves a $ 3.5 million void that the park district needs to fill.

“Probably something we either have to tie up or, while we continue to free our footprint, we have to sell assets.” [and] maybe we can take some of that money to cover these costs, “explains Sandine, saying that there are a few ways we can raise the money we need.

But Sandine says the park district is determined to find the money.

As for the schedule, the plan is to start renovations in spring 2022 and reopen in autumn 2022.

Sandine credits Stadelman and the Rockford Ward with saving the Ice House.

“This is just another fine example of how the community supports and supports their park district. says Sandine with a smile.

In addition to the renovations, which are capital improvements, two Rockford families together donated more than $ 1 million to help run the ice house after the renovation, according to Sandine.