ENTERPRISE:  Local theatre awarded a grant

ENTERPRISE: Local theatre awarded a grant

The Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant Program received $5 million in funding that was included in a lottery bond bill (HB 5030) during the 2019 legislative session. These funds will be available to Oregon Main Street Network organizations in the spring of 2021 to fund building improvement projects that spur economic development.
This grant program was created during the 2015 legislative session, and placed with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. The 2015 legislation established a permanent fund for the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant and provided an initial infusion of funds from the sale of lottery bonds. Additional funds were approved in the 2017 legislative session.
To date, 57 matching grants totaling $7,599,994 were awarded in 2017 and 2019 to Oregon Main Street Network organizations across the state. Awards range from $17,500-$200,000 for projects from façade improvement to elevator access and seismic upgrades. Successful applications were able to demonstrate how the proposed project met clearly established goals for the downtown improvement efforts and was going to attract or retain businesses, generate new or retain jobs, or create downtown housing opportunities.
There is quite a depth and breadth of funded projects to date including a number of upper floor and downtown housing projects that fill both a local housing need and have the added benefit of enhancing the local economy, putting back into productive use space that has been sitting vacant in some cases for years, and creating more vibrant downtowns. Some of these projects include:
• $200,000 in Coos Bay for eleven new apartments,
• $200,000 in Cottage Grove for six apartments and retail upgrades,
• $149,751 for four new apartments in Klamath Falls,
• $200,000 for four new apartments in Tillamook, and
• $200,000 towards 10?12 new units in Woodburn
• Klamath Falls Downtown Association received $100,000 to install elevators in two downtown buildings. The project will address the goal of downtown housing and make available 20 units.
• Astoria Downtown Historic District Association received $100,000 for a downtown housing project that comprises 40 units and retail space.
Several communities were selected for work to repair or restore their historic theaters in both rounds including: The OK Theatre in Enterprise $100,000, the Rivoli Theater in Pendleton $100,000, the Bungalow Theater in Woodburn $100,000, the Columbia Theater in St. Helens $200,000, and the Alger Theater in Lakeview $111,685.
Other types of projects include:
• A $100,000 project in Burns will restore a historic hotel left vacant for decades.
• A $100,000 project in Independence to rehabilitate an underused building to be a local brewery.
• And $200,000 to improve a block of façades in downtown Stayton.
The next round of the Main Street Revitalization Grant will be open on January 2021. The funds must be used to award grants to participating Oregon Main Street Network organizations to acquire, rehabilitate or construct buildings within the approved main street boundary to facilitate community revitalization. The program also requires that at least 50 percent of the funds go to rural communities as defined in the initial bill. A series of webinars is planned for late fall and early winter to help organizations learn how to establish an overall plan for the downtown revitalization effort, including goals and objectives; developing a process for selecting projects that meet the goals and objectives; and other potential matching resources for the Main Street Revitalization Grant.
For more information about the grant program, visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Kuri Gill at Kuri.gill@oregon.gov or 503-986-0685. For information about the Oregon Main Street Network, visit www.oregonmainstreet.org or contact Sheri Stuart at sheri.stuart@oregon.gov or 503.986.0679.