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Downtown Easton Façade Grant Applications Now Available
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com -
Contributed By: Easton Main Street Initiative
Email The Author: Kim@eastonpartnership.org
Website: http://www.eastonpartnership.org

Easton, PA, FEB. 25, 2021 – After a tough year and grueling winter, there is some assistance available for small business and property owners in Downtown Easton. Those looking to make repairs or improvements to their buildings can get some financial assistance through a new round of facade grants offered from Easton Main Street Initiative (EMSI).

For the last 16 years, EMSI, a program of the nonprofit Greater Easton Development Partnership (GEDP), has been able to offer façade grants with the help of some dedicated community partners.

The facade program is possible thanks in part to funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and GEDP. Funds also typically come from the annual Historic Easton House Tour, which was put on hold for 2020 and 2021.

The façade grants assist property and business owners in paying for streetscape façade improvements, signage and design costs. The application period for façade grants for Downtown Easton property and business owners is open now through May 7, 2021. The goal of the façade grants is to encourage rehabilitation of buildings and improved signage in the downtown area.

Eligible buildings must be located in the “Main Street Revitalization Target Area,” a 20-square block area which is designated from the entrance to the Karl Stirner Arts Trail at the foot of College Hill, south to Washington Street, and Larry Holmes Drive, west to Sixth Street. Any exterior improvements will be considered for the grant including paint, windows, repointing, doors, maintenance, façade repair or restoration, lighting, and signage.

“Our facade grant program helps property and business owners to restore and repair their buildings, and to help maintain our historic building stock,” said Jared Mast, executive director-GEDP. “It’s one way our nonprofit helps to contribute to the economic vitality of Easton.”

Easton Main Street Initiative Manager Kim Kmetz notes the process is competitive, and that the total funds available this year is smaller than in years past. Applications will be evaluated by the volunteer EMSI Design Committee, which will take into consideration: 
  • Location/visibility from main corridors
  • Aesthetic impact
  • Business impact
  • Historic impact
  • Significance of the grant to the success of the project
  • Use of building
  • Ownership
  • Project amount
  • Use of design professional
  • Overall proposal of the project
  • Applicant’s ability to carry out the project  
All designs must fit the Easton Historic District Guidelines and adhere to recommendations of the Historic District Commission (HDC). A city building permit or zoning approval must be received, where needed, in order to receive funding. 

The façade grant program offers a 50 percent match, up to $5,000. Signage grants will be matched up to $1,500. Design professional fees are also eligible for grant funding as part of the total project, up to $500.

All applications must be submitted by Friday, May 7, 2021, to be considered. The full guidelines and application, as well as a map of the target area, can be viewed at eastonmainstreet.org/facade. Additional questions may be directed to Kim Kmetz, at kim@eastonpartnership.org or 610-533-9588. Applications may be submitted at the Easton Public Market (EPM), 325 Northampton St. Drop boxes are located inside the market by the EPM Kitchen, or outside the market near the Bank Street exit door.

For more information on the Easton Main Street Initiative organization, visit us online at EastonMainStreet.org.

ABOUT: Easton Main Street Initiative (EMSI) is a program of the Greater Easton Development Partnership, a registered 501c3. EMSI’s mission is to promote, encourage and enhance the economic strength and vitality of Easton's central business district through volunteer and community driven efforts. GEDP is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization focused on nurturing Easton's economic well-being and cultural vibrancy. It encompasses Easton Farmers’ Market, Easton Main Street Initiative, Easton Public Market, Easton Ambassadors and PA Bacon Fest. For more information, contact Executive Director Jared Mast at 610-250-2078, or jared@eastonpartnership.org. Visit us online at eastonpartnership.org.



Posted: March 2, 2021
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