Ardmore offers incentive for downtown makeovers - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Ardmore offers incentive for downtown makeovers

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ARDMORE, Okla. -- The City of Ardmore is investing in its historic downtown district by reimbursing businesses for sprucing up their storefronts.

The façade grant program offers up to $5,000 in repair costs. The first round of grants was awarded on August 8, and improvements to downtown Ardmore have already begun.

"This building is over 100 years old... I think the assessor said it's from 1900," said Dr. Blake Bush, who has an eye clinic on Main Street.

Historic downtown Ardmore

Ardmore's streets are filled with century-old stories, but without a little tender loving care, that history could crumble.

That's why the city is investing in the historic district -- not only to help with infrastructure, but to improve the aesthetics.

"The best part about it is that it seems like most of the people are returning the historic nature back to their building, which is what we wanted," explained Ardmore Development Director Jessica Scott.

Pocket Shop

Rachel Elmore was one of the six business owners to take advantage of the façade fix-up program.

"We are excited to make the building more historically accurate," said the owner of Pocket Shop. "It's gotten facelifts over the years, but now it's a little dated. So just anything to give it a fresh new look is what I'm most excited about."

Two of the buildings being helped by the grant money are currently vacant. City employees are hoping the new look will attract businesses.

But Blake Bush just moved his eye care business downtown. He is using the grant to help kickstart the business in a new location.

"I've tried to make it an inviting place for somebody to walk by and be interested in what we are doing, and not feel like they need to have an appointment to walk in," he said. "They can just pop in and shop around. So I like the foot traffic."

City officials say they have already received applications for the next round of grants to be awarded next year.

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