After multiple discussions, votes and revised plans, long-awaited changes to downtown Greenwood are coming.
The city of Greenwood was awarded a $400,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs to help cover the cost of the restoration of façades on 22 of the 33 downtown buildings. The project is a part of a revitalization plan by the city and Restore Old Town Greenwood.
The project will cost $1.1 million with $578,000 from the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission and $193,000 from property owners.
During the next three to four weeks, the city and Restore Old Town Greenwood will look at the 22 buildings and meet with the owners to draw up plans, Restore Old Town Greenwood board member Chuck Landon said.
The project initially included all but one building in downtown Greenwood, but some property owners dropped out due to cost increases. The initial cost estimate for renovations on 30 buildings was about $695,000, but then figures were updated to reflect more current labor and material costs, raising the cost to about $942,000. Architects more thoroughly inspected each of the buildings with structural engineers, leading to another increase in the estimated cost to about $1.3 million.
The property owners of the 22 buildings participating in the project had to have their money turned in to the city in May, Landon said.
Restore Old Town Greenwood will assist businesses with signage and staying open during construction, which will begin by January, Landon said. The restoration of the 22 façades should be complete sometime in mid-2017.
“We’ve been talking about doing this project for years, and there is excitement. People want to see this happen,” Landon said. “We have a diamond in the rough. When we are done, this will be a real gem for the community.”
Nosnhoj Services Inc. is one of the buildings that will have its façade revitalized and restored. The city has talked about this plan since co-owner Doug Johnson bought the building almost 10 years ago, Johnson said.
“I’m thrilled about it,” Johnson said. “I’ll be the first to say we have the worst façade here. It was hard writing a check, but it was a no-brainier. It’s going to make our front better.”
The design at Nosnhoj will resemble the building’s original look from the late 1920s when it was a Ford dealership, Johnson said. Johnson gave original pictures of the building to Axis Architecture, which is working with building owners to create designs for the work, and they have done an excellent job with plans to resemble that look, Johnson said.
“The idea of doing the restoration is to bring buildings back as close as they can get to their original look,” Landon said. “We’re trying to take these buildings back to their former elegance.”