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Funds for fixing up in Richmond’s Arts and Cultural District

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The city of Richmond along with its Economic Development Authority has started an improvement program in Richmond’s Arts and Cultural District designed to help businesses spruce up their storefronts.

The new program, one of several recent city initiatives designed for the Arts District, has $450,000 set aside to assist with historic rehabilitation and design improvements. Projects can include uncovering and restoring historical façades, removing existing façade materials and replacing them with more attractive designs and materials, architectural lighting and other detailing which leads to an enhanced appearance of the building.

Projects meeting these objectives are eligible for a reimbursement grant of up to one-half of eligible costs, or a maximum of $40,000 depending on a building’s size.

“The city is excited to offer this opportunity for business and property owners to leverage their private investment in the city’s Arts & Cultural District. Many studies have shown that restoration and thoughtful design improvements often lead to greater business success by attracting more customers,” Mayor Dwight C. Jones said in a statement.

Applications will be accepted until the funds are used.

The Richmond City Council created the arts district in June 2012. It covers about 80 total blocks, largely along Broad and Franklin Streets, and includes such sites as the Richmond Ballet, Hippodrome, and the future VCU contemporary art building.

To download the grant criteria and an application interested parties should visit the program’s website at http://www.richmondgov.com/PlanningAndDevelopmentReview/FacadeImprovement

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