Tigard encourages makeover of Main Street businesses
- Geoff Pursinger
- The Times - News
The city of Tigard is hoping to revitalize the downtown area, with a little face-lift.
The city's Main Street Facade Improvement Program, the architectural equivalent of cosmetic surgery, is meant to transform some of Tigard's more run-down businesses into something that will put residents in the shopping mood.
'We want to make Main Street an attractive place for people to shop, do business in and invest in,' said Sean Farrelly, redevelopment project manager for the city, who heads the program. 'There are some nice buildings down there, and with a bit of cosmetic help, I think it can make a big difference in Main Street's shopping atmosphere.'
The program is divided into two phases. The first would allow for free design assistance, where designers would assess basic costs for the cosmetic reconstruction. If the business is interested in moving forward with the face-lift, they can go forward with phase two, which calls for a 50 percent matching grant from the city to help complete construction.
The goal of the facade program is to return some of Main Street's buildings to a more old-fashioned 'small town America' look.
'We found during the planning process that people really like that old style of Main Street,' Farrelly said. 'It's that ideal Main Street of days gone by.'
Farrelly said that during the 1970s many Main Street businesses saw updates, but that the builders were not always careful with how they designed the storefronts.
'There's potential that some of that design could be taken off and show the good stuff underneath,' he said.
The facade improvement program is in its pilot phase, and funds are limited.
Farrelly is hoping to have four or five businesses apply for the phase one, and then one or two businesses move forward into phase two.
In total, the city only has $28,000 to go toward the program this year, but depending on the level of interest displayed, the city might increase the funds for future years.
'(Main Street) is the place where Tigard grew up,' Farrelly said. 'We're re-emphasizing the historic part of Tigard.'
Businesses can apply for the program by visiting www.tigard-or.gov/FacadeProgram.
As of Wednesday, no businesses had applied for the program.
There will be a joint meeting of the Tigard City Council and the Park and Recreation Advisory Board on Monday, Nov. 16, at the Public Works Auditorium, 8777 S.W. Burnham St., to discuss the recent failed parks bond election and plan the city's next steps. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.