New grant available for business owners to help revamp historic Nashville

By Cherish Lombard

Originally published on Channel 2 WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – So many new buildings are under construction in Nashville, but instead of building new, some people are revamping some of the old.

A new grant from the mayor’s office will provide $150,000 in funding to assist with the rehabilitation of eligible historic commercial buildings in Davidson County.

You could get this grant money if you open a business, or expand your existing one into a historic building.

“We’re really looking for those gems that need some investment,” said Audra Ladd, Economic and Community Development with Mayor Megan Barry’s Office.

The current owners saw a big project but thought it would be great to bring this building back to life.Gems like the Riverside Drive Church of Christ in East Nashville was built in 1937.

“I think anytime you can preserve something of history, I think it’s a great thing for the community. I think the more and more things can be saved and reclaimed, it just makes a big statement for the city of Nashville,” said Mark Scrivner with Snapshot Interactive.

There’s a lot of new, but the remodel also tells the story of the building’s past.

The new ‘Historic Preservation and Incentive’ program is competitive and eligibility is based on a few different things.“You can look at the standing table that runs the whole length of our workspace and on each end, it’s held up by some beams, and those beams were the same beams that held up the floor, and all the wood around this back area is the wood out of the floor,” said Scrivner

“Part of it is, ‘What does the project look like? Are you committed to putting historic materials in the project? Is it feasible? Do you have a budget that’s reasonable? Do you have a contractor in place?’ The last thing is really very important. It’s, what are the benefits to the community?” said Ladd.

Eligible properties must be within a certain census tract, where at least 65 percent of households are at or below 80 percent of area median income.

“My goal is to have a lot of compelling applications. The ones that have the most merit, there’s an analysis framework that will be used. Those will be funded and we’ll explore ways to support those projects that aren’t funded through this particular fund and other ways,” Ladd told News 2.

You can apply by filling out an online application, which is due by December 31, 2017: Request for Proposals: Nashville Funding For Improvements to Historic Buildings in Commercial Use

Funding can only be used for exterior construction work or rehabilitation of commercial, non-residential, historic buildings that meet the above criteria.