MSP awards $25,000 in grants

By Frank Lewis

December 21, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Main Street Portsmouth, in partnership with the City of Portsmouth, awarded $25,000 in grant money to fund five building improvement projects within the Main Street Portsmouth district at a press conference Friday afternoon. A total of 12 applications were received with a total estimated investment of nearly $120,000.

This year’s grant recipients are the Daehler Building, 612 Second St., owned by Boneyfiddle Historic Rehab LLC; 208 Court St., owned by Kevin Miller; PSKC, 549 Third St., owned by Portsmouth Spartan Kettle Bell Club; 604 Second St., owned by SHNA LLC and Cirque d’Art Theatre, 412-414 Chillicothe St., owned by Cirque d’Art LLC.

Main Street Portsmouth Director Sarah Surina said the MSP Building Improvement Grant Program was introduced as a pilot program in 2008 when Main Street Portsmouth was awarded a $25,000 grant from Heritage Ohio and The Ohio Department of Development. She said the goal of the program is to promote exterior building improvements to commercial properties located in the Main Street Portsmouth district. In 2009, Main Street Portsmouth began efforts to find a permanent partners to help fund the grant program on an annual basis.

“In 2010 the MSP Building Improvement Grant Program returned with generous support from the City of Portsmouth and the Richard D. Marting Foundation and awarded $25,000 in grant monies,” Surina said. “In 2011, Main Street Portsmouth settled into what has been a very successful partnership with the City of Portsmouth which has allocated funds annually, from their Capitol Improvement Budget, for building improvements to continue the preservation of our downtown structures.”

The Building Improvement Grant Program provides commercial property owners within the Main Street Portsmouth district an opportunity to apply for matching grant funds for eligible exterior building improvements to their property. Surina said the grants are in recognition of the positive impact that individual building renovations can have on the overall appearance and quality of the downtown streetscapes.

This year’s selection committee members included Zoe Richards, Community Representative; Ann Sydnor, Main Street Board Member; Wayne Allen, Main Street Board Member; Kevin W. Johnson, First Ward Councilman; Tracy Shearer, City of Portsmouth Development Office; and Scott Moore, Main Street Board President.

“The Building Improvement Grant Program is an excellent opportunity for property owners to receive funding and recognition for their renovation and preservation work within the Main Street Portsmouth District and our community,” Surina said. “It is our hope that through this grant program, we are able to encourage property owner to invest in Downtown Portsmouth.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.