Building renovation project delayed

GREENFIELD — Construction on the façades of 10 downtown buildings likely won’t begin until spring, according to city officials.

Ten historic buildings near the intersection of Main and State streets are slated to undergo renovations restoring their façades to mirror their pasts as part of a $500,000 downtown revitalization grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

Construction, which was originally slated to begin this month, has been delayed after quotes for the project came in over budget, city planner Joanie Fitzwater recently told city leaders.

The lowest estimate for the project came in at about $850,000. City leaders say they need the bids to come in about $270,000 lower than that to fit the budget they’ve set for construction.

City leaders, architects and building owners are now scaling back the project to make it more affordable. By the end of September, they hope to choose a contractor for construction.

While some work could begin before the weather turns cold, it will likely be spring before construction ramps up, Fitzwater said.

City leaders and building owners have been working on the project for more than a year. One of only three communities to be chosen for the grant, Greenfield is expected to invest about $700,000, including the $500,000 from OCRA, to give facelifts to structures that comprise the heart of the city.

The remaining $200,000 comes from community donations, as well as contributions from property owners and the city. An average of about $69,000 will go toward each of the 10 buildings.

The work planned for restoring the historic structures varies but includes masonry work, new paint, the installation of new doors and windows to open up store fronts, lighting and new fabric awnings.

The work aims to either restore features specific to the buildings’ past or to add those that are time period-appropriate.

The Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce has a list of work that needs to be done to improve its building at 1 Courthouse Plaza, but some of it will likely have to wait because of budget constraints, said chamber president Retta Livengood.

The chamber’s board of directors is disappointed work won’t begin this fall like originally planned and the project will have to be scaled back, but members are still grateful the chamber is being included in the project to restore historic buildings, Livengood said.

In coming weeks, the board of directors will discuss the work that will be prioritized for the grant. Then, they’ll make a plan for a second phase of construction, paid for by the chamber, if needed, Livengood said.

Other buildings being renovated as part of the project are:

Wolf Law Firm — 6 E. Main St. — owned by Wolf, WmH

Strahl and Apple Law Firm — 8 W. Main St. — owned by Dan L. Strahl

Wooden Bear Brewing Co. — 21 W. North St. — owned by Twenty Main LLC

Carnegie’s Restaurant — 100 W. North St. — owned by Ian Harrison

McCleerey’s Sporting Goods — 22 S. State St. — owned by McCleerey’s Sporting Goods

McCleerey’s commercial building — 28-32 S. State St. — owned by Steve McCleerey

Twenty North Gallery — 20 N. State St. — owned by Twenty Main LLC

Highsmith Guns — 123 N. State St. — owned by Drake Real Estate LLC

The Randall Building — 2 E. Main St. — owned by Leejen Commercial LLC

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.