Downtown Improvement Grant awarded to several downtown business owners

Published 3:22 pm Friday, February 25, 2022

BY NIC MILLER
STAR STAFF
nic.miller@elizabethton.com
Six downtown businesses are receiving state funds for improvement projects.
The Tennessee First Development District along with the City of Elizabethton officially awarded six Downtown Improvement Grants last week. The grants came from $150,000 from the State of Tennessee and are 75% reimbursable up to $40,000.
“Of the 12 applicants for this grant, we were able to award six of those people with money for their exterior renovation projects,” said Elizabethton Planning Director Logan Engle. “Those awarded all represented a variety of different types of exterior facade projects. That includes everything from painting and storefront renovations to window replacement.”
The six business that were awarded funds from the grant include FiveOneEight, Cannon’s Home Furnishings, The Peddler’s Cart, the Bonnie Kate Theatre, Riverside Taphouse, and a co-working space inside of The Coffee Company building.
“Cannon’s will be receiving just a little over $25,000 for some work that includes adding a false front to return the building to its original state, as well as some improvements to the rear of the building. The Peddler’s Cart received just over $10,000 for window replacement. Kent Edens, who owns The Coffee Company building, will be using the $10,000 received from the grant to renovate entrances leading into the second floor of the building as well as some stain work on the wood around the building,” Engle said.
Engle said that Riverside Taphouse, which received just over $7,000 from the grant, is using the funds to install roll-up windows that will be able to retract when events such as live music take place.
“Out of the six grants that we awarded, we were able to offer the maximum amount of reimbursement, $40,000 to two of the applicants, those being FiveOneEight and the Bonnie Kate Theatre,” Engle said.
“Both of these businesses received the maximum funds of $40,000, and FiveOneEight is using their funds to restore the building to its original state, as the original building was lost in a fire,” Engle said. “The Bonnie Kate will be using their funds to continue the extensive work that they have been conducting over the recent years, improving what is a staple of downtown.”
Engle said that the city as well as the First Tennessee Development District were excited to fund these larger projects as well as all the medium sized and smaller funded projects.
“We were really excited that we were able to fund a variety of different types of improvements and really touch a lot of different areas in our downtown,” Engle said.
And while the projects have technically been awarded to these businesses, because of the scope of the improvements there is additional paperwork and other things for recipients to complete before “breaking ground.”
“These projects will have to go through the proper protocol that the state requires, and we are working with the First Tennessee Development District to do that. So while they have received the grant, there are still a few more processes to go through, meaning it could be a while before everyone starts to see work being done,” Engle said.

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