Thursday, July 24, 2008

20+ historic sites in downtown Tucson vie for facade program

[Source: Teya Vitu, Tucson Citizen] -- More than 20 historic downtown buildings will be evaluated for the city's $530,000 facade improvement program. Property owners from many prominent downtown businesses met the Tuesday deadline to be considered for the program, said Glenn Lyons, chief executive of the Downtown Tucson Partnership. "I'm terribly pleased," Lyons said. "I had no idea we'd have this kind of response." That's because property owners have to make a 50-50 match for the city funding if they are among the four chosen to do facade work. Applicants include Hotel Congress (pictured), Wig-O-Rama, Beowulf Alley Theatre and ArtFare The Muse.

The selection committee headed by Lyons expects to narrow the list by Aug. 1 to eight applicants. They will each be assigned an architect and each be 3 given $7,500 from the program fund to prepare their concept and renovation proposals, which are due Oct 7. The selection committee expects to announce four finalists Nov. 8. City funding could be as much as $125,000 for a corner property and $90,000 for one midblock. "It'll be hard to choose eight and then four," Lyons said. The buildings have to date from before 1948 and must have an original facade that can be restored. The program is limited to buildings on Broadway and Congress and Pennington streets, between Toole and Church avenues, Lyons said. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]