Hobart City Council approves expansion of downtown historic district

2013-05-01T21:30:00Z 2013-07-23T15:22:05Z Hobart City Council approves expansion of downtown historic districtDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | The Lake George Commercial Historic District has expanded its boundaries.

The City Council on Wednesday approved a recommendation from the Historic Preservation Commission to add five businesses.

The additions include two businesses in the 200 block of Main Street and three in the 400 block of East Third Street, across from the clock tower.

The new additions include the former Hobart police station, 200 Main St., said City Councilman David Vinzant, D-4th.

The addition of that building and one at 210 Main St. completes that block.

The buildings in the 400 block of East Third Street make up the last commercial block, Vinzant said.

"Some of the buildings are of historic significance and some are not, but this continues those two areas," Vinzant said.

The historical district designation will make the former police station, currently owned by the city, more marketable for sale, Vinzant said.

The historical district designation allows future owners of that building and other commercial businesses to apply for certain incentives, including a facade grant.

Eleven business owners have taken advantage of city-offered matching grants in the past three years, using the incentives to make repairs and updates, Commission Administrator Tiffany Tolbert said.

Those improvements range from the addition of a new awning to Cafe 339 to major rehabilitation of the 1907 Fiester Building, which now houses the new Von’s Victorian Bakery and Tea Room on Main Street.

The facade grant program was created in 2009 by the Redevelopment Commission, before the City Council approved recommended boundaries for the historical district, Tolbert said.

The original district boundaries include the 200 to 400 blocks of Main Street, the 200 to 300 blocks of Center Street and the 500 to 600 blocks of East Third Street.

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