EZ launches building improvement program

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Huntington-Ironton, Empowerment Zone wants to help spruce up downtown Ironton.

The agency has launched a new Building Exterior Improvement Program to encourage the preservation and rehabilitation of structures within Ironton's Downtown Revitalization Area.

Those eligible for the program are owners or those leasing commercial structures or mixed-use structures within the defined district.

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This area includes the south side of Railroad Street to the north side of Adams Street and from the west side of Fourth Street to the railroad tracks of Norfolk & Southern Railroad.

"We're excited with the new building improvement program. This will give businesses an additional opportunity to update and improve their properties, working hand-in-hand with the city's downtown revitalization and preservation efforts," said Cathy Burns, Executive Director of the Huntington-Ironton Empowerment Zone.

"Grant amounts are generous and are based upon the property's eligibility."

Grant funding amounts are matched "dollar for dollar" and are based on following three criteria:

4Building height - the number of stories of the building (stories are as defined by the current building code)

4Building street frontage - the combined length of all sides of the building visible along a public street

4Architectural dignificance - buildings that have been deemed eligible for the National Register and have successfully completed a part one application for the register

In addition to a building exterior grant, an applicant may apply for one of two additional grants - either an awning or sign grant.

All work must be approved by the City of Ironton Design Review Board and must comply with the city's design guidelines.

Applications are due by June 30.

For more details or to obtain an application, call the EZ office at (304) 399-5454 or go to www.empowerwv-oh.org.