With the approval of a trio of grants for improvements to businesses along Madison Avenue, a Greenwood program to incentivize improvements to downtown properties is coming closer to completion.

Earlier this week, the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission approved awarding $50,000 in matching grants to three properties along Madison Avenue as part of the city’s GROW program.

The GROW program was set up by the redevelopment commission to award grants to businesses along Main Street and Madison Avenue in downtown Greenwood to make exterior improvements, such as new siding or landscaping. The matching grants of up to $50,000 per property were intended to spur redevelopment of the buildings along two main entryways into the downtown area.

With the grants approved this week, the city has now given out 15 grants for a total of $378,500. While another $83,000 in grants had been awarded, they were taken back earlier this fall after work never began at those properties. When the program was created last year, the redevelopment commission set aside $500,000 to fund it, which means about $120,000 is left.

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Including the three most recent properties awarded grants, improvements are planned for 12 different properties on Madison Avenue and four on Main Street within about a mile of each other, since some of the applications included multiple properties. Many of the businesses are located in former houses.

The three most recent properties to receive these grants — 52 S. Madison Ave., 150 N. Madison Ave. and 484 N. Madison Ave. — are all owned by Oksoo Becker and house a variety of businesses ranging from a hair salon to tailor shop.

At 52 S. Madison Ave., proposed improvements include a new front door, garage door, fence and side awning. The redevelopment commission approved funding $12,000 out of the $23,250 project. The property, a former home, is now host to a spa, hair salon and tailor shop, Greenwood Capital Projects Manager Kevin Steinmetz said.

Planned renovations to 150 N. Madison Ave, home to Main Street Alterations, a tailor shop, include replacing the vinyl siding with cement fiber board, a new front door and six new windows, with a total cost of $47,000, he said.

Siding improvements in particular are something the city has wanted to encourage through this program, by getting properties to use higher quality materials, Steinmetz said.

For 484 N. Madison Ave., an enclosed front porch will be demolished and replaced with a front deck, windows will be replaced and the building will be painted, Steinmetz said. That property, recently purchased by Becker, doesn’t have any tenants but already has several businesses expressing interest in the property, he said.

Property owners are continuing to show interest in the grant program, Steinmetz said.

Another five to six property owners are considering applying for grants, he said.

Should the program run out of money, the redevelopment commission will need to decide whether to refund and how further grants should be awarded.

At a glance

Fifteen applications for GROW program grants have been approved by the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission. Here’s a look at where those improvements are planned and how much money was awarded:

  • 622 N. Madison Ave.,$25,000
  • 401 Camby Court,$38,000
  • 500 E. Main St.,$21,000
  • 181 S. Madison Ave.,$19,000
  • 410 E. Main St.,$14,500
  • 399 W. Main St.,$29,500
  • 194-202 W. Main St.,$28,000
  • 263 N. Madison Ave.,$32,000
  • 271 N. Madison Ave.,$33,000
  • 384, 390 and 399 N. Madison Ave.,$50,000
  • 616 N. Madison Ave.,$21,000
  • 100 S. Madison Ave.,$16,500
  • 52. S. Madison Ave.,$12,000
  • 150 N. Madison Ave.,$23,500
  • 484 N. Madison Ave.,$15,500

Total awarded: $378,500

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.