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Lockport offers grants for downtown property improvements

LOCKPORT – The city is offering grants to pay for improvements to downtown Lockport properties, Planning and Development Director Brian M. Smith said Wednesday.

The city received $250,000 from the New York Main Street program. Although most of the buildings downtown are commercial, Smith said the grant requires the creation of at least five new residential units. Some apartments on upper floors of commercial buildings were installed the last time the city administered this grant program in 2011.

The grants are limited to $50,000 per commercial building, or $10,000 per new residential unit, making it possible that a landlord working on a mixed-use project could receive up to $100,000. However, property owners must match at least 25 percent of the grant with their own money. Also, the grant amount must not exceed 75 percent of the total project cost.

Priority is given to “visually prominent buildings,” especially those in disrepair. Downtown is defined roughly as the area bounded by Hawley, Walnut, Washburn and Chestnut streets.

Smith said the winners and amounts will be chosen by a committee of city and business leaders, and the application deadline is Sept. 1. Applications may be obtained by emailing Smith at