Ask LaFleur: Does the CenterG project include facelifts for downtown Greer businesses?
Question: I saw your recent column on the status of the Center G project, and as a new resident of Greer (and South Carolina), I was wondering if you can answer a question on the CenterG project.
Everything that I read primarily mentions the roads and sidewalks. Does the CenterG project also encompass a facelift on facades of the buildings throughout downtown?
Answer: It does not, but it wouldn't be fair of me to just tell you that and not acknowledge some efforts made toward improving facades.
CenterG is an infrastructure project focused on upgrading roads, curbs, gutters, lighting, furniture and landscaping in the city's central business district, according to Steve Owens, communications manager for the city.
The project is a partnership between Greer CPW and the City of Greer.
Facades are not on the agenda for that project, but that doesn't mean there's been no effort to upgrade some buildings in the area.
Owns said the city put provisions in place in 2018 to help downtown businesses continue to thrive during the ongoing CenterG project. That included a budgeted $150k in incentives for downtown merchants to apply for facade grants through the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority.
Business owners could apply for a $10k grant funding by the city and GCRA to make improvements without any individual investment, Owens said, but those who also invested $5k of their own funds could see that amount matched by the city, bringing the potential total in funds to $20k.
Owens said eleven businesses were awarded those grants.
There is also a regular facade grant program that is available to downtown business, but it doesn't include the same matching incentives, he said.
Do you have a question you want answered? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, contact Elizabeth on her Facebook page at facebook.com/AskLaFleur/ or send questions via mail to Elizabeth LaFleur, 32 E. Broad St., Greenville, SC 29601. Answers will appear in the Tuesday and Friday print editions of The Greenville News.