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City handing out second round of over $100,000 in core building improvement grants

City says it has seen 'significant' interest in Community Improvement Plan grants since the start of August
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The new owners of 30 Dickson St. in Galt are renovating the exterior of the building and upgrading the interior commercial space before leasing it out.

More downtown Cambridge enhancements are in the works now that the city is picking up part of the tab.

A second round of grants designed as incentives for owners to upgrade core buildings is being tabled for council consideration this week.

The three buildings that are a subject of Community Improvement Plan grants this round are 30 Dickson St. in Galt, 38 Ainslie St. N. and 759 King St. E. in Preston.

The former home of the Galt Masonic Temple at 30 Dickson was purchased by new owners last spring. The $300,000 plan for the building, located across from the Cambridge Farmers’ Market, is to completely renovate the exterior and overhaul the commercial unit on the main floor, which the city says “badly in need of an upgrade to be leased.” 

The owners have applied for a Commercial Building Restoration, Renovation and Improvement Grant (CBRRIG) worth $20,000 to complete the work, which staff believe will enhance Galt’s core by increasing the workforce and providing spin-off benefits for neighbouring businesses.

Exterior work is already in progress.

Next door, at 38 Ainslie, the owners have been working with the city’s economic development team for months on plans to renovate the existing commercial space, which currently houses a second hand store benefiting Cambridge Memorial Hospital, and was the former home of a stained glass shop and studio.

Their application for a CBRRIG grant is for $11,413 on an overall investment of $150,000.

Redevelopment of 759 King in Preston is also underway with a new facade coming to the exterior and upgrades to four residential units on the upper floor.

The property is the home of four businesses, including Sauce Boss and Papa John’s Pizza.

The owners applied for a Commercial Property Improvement Grant of $30,000 and a Mixed Use Conversion and Restoration Grant for $40,000.

The applicant is investing over $600,000 in the project that is expected to increase the population and traffic in Preston’s core.

None of the three properties are on the city’s heritage registry.

Since the implementation of the Community Improvement Plan grants in early August, the city says interest in the grant programs has been significant.

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Doug Coxson

About the Author: Doug Coxson

Doug has been a reporter and editor for more than 25 years, working mainly in Waterloo region and Guelph.
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