HOBART | Century-old buildings in the heart of Hobart's historical district continue to get a new look thanks to the city's facade grant program.
A total of 11 business owners have taken advantage of city-offered matching grants in the past three years, using the incentives to make repairs and updates, said Tiffany Tolbert, director of the Indiana Landmarks Northwest Field Office.
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.
"There's been lots of interest from building owners. And next year we'll see some other projects. We hope it will continue," Tolbert said.
The facade grant program was created in 2009 by the Redevelopment Commission, before the City Council approved recommended boundaries for what is called the Lake George Commercial Historic District, Tolbert said.
The 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.
The facade grant program provides 50/50 matching grants up to $50,000 for property and business owners within the Lake George Commercial Historic District, Tolbert said.
Property and business owners interested in applying for the grant need to go before the Redevelopment Commission and the Historical Preservation Commission, which sets guidelines, Mike Adams said.
Adams, executive director of the Hobart Chamber of Commerce, also serves on the Redevelopment Commission.
"The Historic Preservation Commission gets into more details like colors and materials to use. It's not whether the commission likes it or not, but the proposed changes have to meet the set guidelines," Adams said.
For more information, visit the city's website at http://www.city.hobart.in.us. To learn more about local preservation and incentives, call Tolbert at the Indiana Landmarks Northwest Field Office at (219)-947-2657.