In a larger project to revitalize Downtown Mesquite, grant funding for renovations on a building over 100 years old were approved.
At a Monday meeting, the City Council unanimously approved $2,999 to be reimbursed to property owners upon the completion of an estimated $5,998 facade renovation of the Woodsman of the World building at 201, 203 and 205 W Front St.
Downtown Development Manager Beverly Abell said the deteriorated facade faces the stage area of Front Street and is one of the first things people see as they enter the downtown area of Mesquite.
“The proposed improvements are what I would call small but mighty,” Abell said.
Upon approval, the property owner has 90 days to begin construction on the improvements and has 180 days to complete the improvements, Abell said.
In the past, the property has hosted a variety of businesses including a lodge and hall for Woodmen of the World, a variety of cafés, a hardware store, an undertaker, a barbershop and quilt shop. A floral shop and architect firm currently reside in the building.
The facade improvement approved for this property is part of a larger program to incentivize revitalization of the downtown’s facades through grant funding of up to $20,000.
“I’ve seen tremendous interest due to this project,” Councilmember Jennifer Vidler said. “It’s brought a lot of business to our downtown buildings we have vacant. We now have many properties rented and many improvements going on down there, and we just love what [Abell] has been able to achieve. It’s a really good program, and I’m glad to see it adopted.”
Councilmember Jeff Casper said the $2,999 investment would yield a good return by further revitalizing the downtown district. He said that while residents have seen businesses like Amazon and Walmart put smaller businesses out of business, the downtown area could remain an “Amazon-proof” place for those smaller businesses.
“This is what government can do,” Casper said. “We can come together and be a catalyst for change. This is why we go to different cities – It’s the experience, the shops and those restaurants. I think what we’re doing is part of the solution.”