Downtown Association Receives Residential Units Grant

This article was in Thursday’s (May 2nd, 2019) Herald and News
Written By: Holly Owens

The Klamath Falls Downtown Association (KFDA) has received a $149,751 grant through the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant program to support the build out of four additional residential units in downtown Klamath Falls, according to a news release.

The grant is one of 30 awarded throughout the state totaling $5,244,261. The grants support projects from façade improvement to housing and seismic upgrades, and are awarded to Oregon Main Street organizations to support and encourage economic revitalization.

“We are very pleased to have been selected to receive this grant again. We’ve been fortunate to have cultivated some competitive projects for this opportunity and the property owners we have partnered with have been motivated and very supportive of downtown revitalization efforts. That makes a big difference when it comes to showing the committee that we can actually deliver the projects,” said Darin Rutledge, KFDA’s executive director.

KFDA partnered with the City of Klamath Falls earlier this year to award façade and building improvement grants, and that selection process was used to identify potential Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant projects.

“We looked at two or three potential projects, but this one floated to the top early on because of the overall project readiness and the willingness and capability of the property owners to move forward,” said Rutledge. “And from the standpoint of competitiveness, the benefits of this project – additional housing supply, amenities that attract people, a stronger tax base – it checks off a lot of boxes that have been prioritized by the KFDA board, the city of Klamath Falls and the state of Oregon.”

621 Main St. project

The grant will provide funding support for a renovation project at 621 Main St., the Lamb-Swansen building, to refurbish the upper floor. When complete, the building will offer four apartments in addition to the retail tenants on the ground floor.

Property owners Mike and Rachael Moore are anxious to get started on the work, and plan to have their apartments occupied by next summer.

“Rachael and I chose to renovate now because of the high demand for quality rentals in the Basin. Investing in downtown housing is exciting because of the revitalization projects in the downtown core, including the new parks, the beginnings of the TimberMill Shores development and the OHSU (Oregon Health & Science University) residency housing that is located downtown (in the Kerr building),” said Mike Moore.

KFDA received a $100,000 Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant in 2017 to support upper floor redevelopment in two other downtown buildings. The project resulted in the addition of 10 residential units in the Kerr building and an additional 12 units that will be available in the McKay building this summer.

The Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant is administered through the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department’s Oregon Heritage division and is s available only to accredited Main Street organizations in Oregon. Eligible projects, which must be located within an Oregon Main Street district, include rehabilitation/renovation of existing properties, compatible new construction, and in some cases, purchase of existing properties.

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