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Historic Preservation Grants Available Through Wheeling Heritage

photo by: File Photo by Shelley Hanson

Betsy Sweeny, director of heritage programming for Wheeling Heritage.

Wheeling Heritage has $750,000 to distribute over the next three years to owners of historical properties wanting to improve their buildings and help surrounding neighborhoods.

Wheeling Heritage was one of 11 recipients selected by The National Park Service last year to receive a $750,000 Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant. The intent of this funding is to provide preservation assistance to downtown commercial redevelopment, as well as residential and mixed-use projects in urban neighborhoods.

Applications for the first round of sub grant awards are due Oct. 1, with two rounds of awards scheduled for each of the next three years, explained Betsy Sweeney, director of heritage programming for Wheeling Heritage.

Subgrants of $15,000 to $100,0000 will be awarded to rehab and repair commercial, residential and mixed-use structures.

Wheeling Heritage has identified more than 3,000 structures that could be eligible for support through this subgrant program, she said.

“This program is really geared toward historic preservation projects that are on the larger scale – in that they are utilizing tax credits and other incentives and grants,” Sweeny said.

“We hope that these funds fill a gap in a multi-faceted capitol stack.”

She said local subgrants will be awarded out of two buckets, with the first intended for the funding of commercial downtown projects.

“These are buildings that are fixed-use and in our downtown area – your coffee shops, your new restaurants, your apartment and events spaces,” Sweeny explained.

In bucket two are what are being called “catalytic neighborhood projects,” she continued.

“These are projects in our urban neighborhoods that help to address the plight of urban neighborhood space,” Sweeney said. “Think about that older apartment building onthecorner that has been vacant for years

“If it were reactivated, maybe the neighbors would want to invest in their property. Or someone would want to buy the vacant building next to it? These projects would create a multiplier effect in the neighborhood to spur investment.”

The Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant program is a newer grant program established in 2019.

“Right now it is an annual grant fund, but we hope to see this fund go into the future,” Sweeny said.

“We have $750,000 to spend over three years. But if we can successfully deploy those funds, I would hope we could continue to pursue things like this.”

Applications for the subgrant program can be found at wheelingheritage.org /historic -revitalization-subgrant/.

Application submissions consist of the general application form; a narrative, where the property owner details the scope and importance of the project; a budget form; and photos, renderings and any other information the property owner wishes to submit.

All parts of the application submission must be uploaded from the website.

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