The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is pleased to announce that recent legislation has been signed by the governor to fund the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant (OMSRG). Five million dollars will be available in 2022 and 2023 for a total of $10 million funded through the sale of lottery bonds.
The $10 million dollar investment in Oregon Main Street Network communities is a true indicator of the value of historic downtowns and the main street organizations in their communities.
“Previous rounds of OMSRG have had an amazing impact on communities across Oregon,” said Sheri Stuart, coordinator, Oregon Main Street. “They have put back into productive use long vacant or underused properties and have spurred further reinvestment in historic downtowns leading to increased vitality.”
The grants will provide up to $200,000 in matching funds for downtown revitalization efforts in communities participating in the Oregon Main Street Network. The OMSRG funds may be used to acquire, rehabilitate and construct buildings on properties in designated downtown areas statewide.
Funded projects must facilitate community revitalization that will lead to private investment, job creation or retention, establishing or expanding viable businesses, or creating a stronger tax base. Projects may include façade improvement, accessibility enhancement, basic utilities, second floor renovations and more. Only organizations participating in the Oregon Main Street Network are eligible to apply.
Projects must be within approved Main Street areas. Eligible organizations may collaborate with local governments and private property owners to apply for projects that will have the biggest benefit to the downtown.
Past projects include:
• Full restoration of several buildings, some decades vacant, including the Central Hotel in Burns, Merwyn Building in Astoria, Mills Garage in Independence, Au Franc Building in Port Orford, and IOOF Building in La Grande.
• Creation of new or improved residential units including eleven new apartments in Coos Bay, six apartments and retail upgrades in Cottage Grove, two projects to support a total of 24 units in Klamath Falls, 40 new units in Astoria, four new apartments in Tillamook, renovation of five apartments in Reedsport, three new spaces in The Dalles, and 10-12 new units in Woodburn.
• Façade restorations including a model block program coordinated by Revitalize Downtown Stayton that includes improvements on seven of nine properties in downtown. Other facade improvements include the Litch Building in Enterprise, Riviera Building in Astoria, Railroad Avenue buildings and The Coin in Oregon City, Morris Miles & Co Building in Newberg, and Alberta district in Portland.
• Structural and roof repairs including five properties in Reedsport, two buildings in Baker City, the historic Masonic Building in Bandon, the Hill Theater (antique store) in Hillsboro, the Bungalow Theater & Museum building in Woodburn, and one building each in Dallas and Weston.
• Historic Theater acquisition and improvements including purchase of the Alger Theater in Lakeview, and improvements to the Liberty Theater in La Grande, Columbia Theater in St. Helens, OK Theatre in Enterprise, and Rivoli Theater in Pendleton.
Applications will open in January of 2022 and there will be a spring a deadline. The Oregon Main Street Network will provide workshops and support to participating network organizations to navigate the application process.
To find your local Oregon Main Street Network organization visit www.oregonheritage.org. You can also find previous grant guidelines there. New guidelines will be posted when the applications open in January 2022.