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State Grants Havre de Grace $60K to Revitalize Downtown

Maryland will fully fund two Main Street projects in 2013 through Community Legacy grants.

The state will fund two projects to revitalize downtown Havre de Grace, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced Wednesday.

Through the Community Legacy program—a DHCD initiative to bolster real estate and commerce across Maryland—Havre de Grace received $60,000 for 2013. A $35,000 grant will fund interior updates and $25,000 will fund exterior improvements of buildings in the Main Street District.

According to a statement from Havre de Grace Office of Economic Development, many aging Main Street buildings are costly to maintain, resulting in storefronts that are not viable.

The $35,000 will be divided into small grants for businesses in a pilot program called "interior fit-out" that aims to make spaces functional through basic upgrades.

Vacant properties will receive priority, as will buildings where first-floor improvements would attract new businesses.

The goal is to fill five first-floor commercial vacancies, according to DHCD. The Office of Economic Development stated it hopes to decrease vacant commercial buildings in the Main Street district, "...one of the most tangible signs of revitalization."

In addition, Havre de Grace Main Street will administer a facade improvement program with the $25,000 grant.

D'Bohemia, Laurrapin Grille, the Masonic Lodge, Old Ordinary, and The Picture Show received facade improvements in FY 2012.

Community Legacy Facts:

  • Havre de Grace received two of Maryland's 58 Community Legacy grants for 2013.
  • Havre de Grace won two of three Community Legacy grants in Harford County; Bel Air received $175,000 for its Armory.
  • In the past six years, Havre de Grace has completed 16 facade improvement projects using $208,000 in Community Legacy grants. Those projects have produced more than 100 jobs and $800,000 in private investments, according to the city's economic development office.
James P. Miller December 02, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Mission: The Façade improvement program encourages small structural projects to improve the historic integrity of the buildings and visual characteristic of the Main Street District with the ultimate goal of providing quality commercial space for viable Main Street businesses. A house on Washington and a B&B on Union Ave.
James P. Miller December 02, 2012 at 03:02 AM
ELIGIBLE IMPROVEMENTS: ▪ Physical building facades ▪ Exterior Carpentry ▪ Repointing of brick facades ▪ Painting ▪ Signage ▪ Awnings ▪ Attached Lighting ▪ Windows/door INELIGIBLE IMPROVEMENTS: ▪ Landscaping ▪ Fencing ▪ Roofing ▪ Porches
Tom Barnes December 04, 2012 at 01:21 PM
...because God knows all those wealthy rich people have just been coming in droves to shop downtown...
Kathy Keen December 04, 2012 at 03:23 PM
The picture for this article is of the 1927 State Theater building at 325 St. John St., now vacant since the church moved out. Does anybody know of any plans for this historic building?
Rachel Rawlings December 19, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Karl, I see your point of view as well. It would stand to reason that when the property is sold with the improvements at a higher value the taxpayers will get some of that back due to the sales tax rate on properties. Higher value=higher taxes paid at settlement and they are typically seller paid taxes...

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