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Buildings around square being revitalized with grants from MCEDC and BCCDC

By BY MARSHA BUTLER - DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS MCEDC
Aug. 15, 2012 at 3:15 a.m.


Two buildings on the Bay City square are being revitalized with the help of Houston Galveston Area Council (HGAC) Downtown Improvement Grants sponsored by the Matagorda County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) and the Bay City Community Development Corporation (BCCDC).

Corner buildings at the intersections of Texas Highway 60 and Highway 35 and at Highway 60 and 6th Street are now undergoing improvements. The Highway 60 and Highway 35 building is owned by Terry Farrar, of Farrar Financial Group. The building will be called Farrar Professional Building. The Highway 60 and 6th Street building is owned by Property Connections. Each building houses a cluster of businesses. Both buildings have room to grow with spaces available to lease.

In April 2012, D.C. Dunham, Executive Director of BCCDC, asked the MCEDC to apply for an HGAC Downtown Public Spaces Improvement Grant. The last Downtown Public Spaces Improvement Grant in Matagorda County helped with renovations to the building where Fat Grass Restaurant is now located. The grant is better known as the HGAC Facade Grant. HGAC will allow BCCDC to apply for only one Facade Grant per year. BCCDC had already applied for a grant for the Farrar building, so Mrs. Dunham asked MCEDC to apply for a second grant for the Property Connections building. Mrs. Dunham showed renderings of renovations to the MCEDC Board of Directors. The renderings for both buildings have been approved by the Bay City Historic Committee Board and the Bay City Main Street Board. The MCEDC Board of Directors agreed that building revitalization on the Bay City square will have a positive effect on Matagorda County. They voted to apply for the HGAC Downtown Public Spaces Improvements Grant for the building at Highway 60 and 6th Street in Bay City.

In May, Owen Bludau, Executive Director of MCEDC, and Cheryl Stewart, of Property Connections, completed and submitted the grant application. The grant is a dollar-for-dollar match with a maximum match of $25,000. The building owner is responsible for doing the improvements and submits receipts. MCEDC will reimburse Property Connections up to $25,000 and then apply for reimbursement from HGAC.

The process will be same for BCCDC and Terry Farrar. Although the Farrar Professional building will undergo a full renovation, only the improvements to the exterior of the building will be reimbursed with the Downtown Spaces Improvement Grant.

In July, HGAC approved both grant applications and awarded grants to the MCEDC and BCCDC. Improvements have begun on both buildings.

The collaboration of three entities and two local businesses made these building improvements possible. Building improvements on the Bay City Square will make a positive impact and provide needed enhancements to downtown Bay City.

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