Friends of Wheeling, West Virginia’s oldest historic preservation organization, has launched a Preservation Loan Guarantee Program at WesBanco to accelerate momentum in the community for revitalizing property. The goal of the program is to assist the gro

Friends of Wheeling, West Virginia’s oldest historic preservation organization, has launched a Preservation Loan Guarantee Program at WesBanco to accelerate momentum in the community for revitalizing property.

The goal of the program is to assist the growing number of people who are investing in vintage residential or commercial properties, officials said.

Friends of Wheeling president Jeanne Finstein announced the group’s first loan guarantee, securing collateral for an $8,000 loan for repairs to the facade and mansard roof on a Victorian house at 645 Main St. The loan guarantee enabled the owners to get an interest rate of 3.25 percent, potentially saving morethan $1,700 across the life of their three-year loan. The property is owned by Crest Investments, a Wheeling business formed by Morgan Wood and his parents, Chuck Wood and Vera Uyehara.

Friends of Wheeling funds remain in an investment account but are assigned to guarantee specific loans for renovation of historic properties in Wheeling. Approved borrowers are able to secure lower interest rates at WesBanco. Renovation projects are reviewed by a committee of the Friends of Wheeling’s board of directors.

Finstein commented, “With the current level of activity and interest in repurposing and renovating vintage real estate, our board feels the time is right to offer a financial assistance program. We want to support these efforts while we continue our preservation advocacy and education roles. Wheeling’s sense of place is what makes our city unique.”

In addition to seed funding from Friends of Wheeling, donors to the fund to date include the Elizabeth Hess Gebhard Fund, the Hess Family Fund, the Elizabeth Stifel Kline Foundation, the Schenk Charitable Trust and WesBanco.

To donate to the fund or to get a loan guarantee application, write to Friends of Wheeling at P.O. Box 889, Wheeling, WV 26003.

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