Several downtown businesses will be getting facelifts, and the City of Ardmore will be footing a portion of the bill thanks to its facade grant program. The facade grant committee awarded $9,725 to four local businesses Thursday afternoon when they held their first vote of the new fiscal year.
The businesses set to receive makeovers include Marvin’s Place Art Gallery, Cook Paint, Antiques Etc. and Casa Romo. Community Development Director Jessica Scott said the amount of work done to each building will vary based on the scope of the project.
“(Marvin’s Place Art Gallery) is going to be one of the big ones,” Scott said. “They have that dated awning with the shingles and it has nothing to do with the history of our downtown. So they actually found a historic photo of the building, and when that awning goes down the building is going to go back to the flat front with the clear story windows open. It’s really going to take it back to what it first looked like.”
Scott used Casa Romo as an example of a business that isn’t undergoing a major change but is still eligible for grant money.
“They’re not going to be changing anything, they’re just fixing up minor issues,” Scott said. “So even if you don’t want to make a big change and you just want to fix small problems, that’s what this money is here for.”
The city has set back $25,000 for grants this year, and Scott encouraged more people to apply. The grant will award up to $5,000 in matching funds per project. To be eligible for grant money the building must be located within the downtown historic district, located on Main Street between C Street SW/NW and D Street SE/NE. It also extends down Caddo Street NE to 2nd Avenue.
“Your first step is to come and talk to us. We’ll look at your location, and we’ll help you figure everything out,” Scott said. “Once your plans are approved by the historic preservation committee you’ll apply for the facade grant, and once the work is complete and you submit an invoice, the city will cut you a check.  
Scott used Blake Bush Family Eye Care and the former location of the Pocket Shop as examples of the program’s success.
“I hope you’ll keep seeing more in the future,” Scott said. “I think people really want to fix their buildings and make these improvements but financially it’s not always feasible. So if the city can do something to help, let us help.”