The Greenville City Council has approved a Tax Increment Financing or TIF agreements plus grants.
One is with Greenville University. The plan for it was presented at a previous council meeting.
The property is the former Masonic Building at 102 and 104 North Second Street. The building is now known as the Greenville SMART Center, and will be used as the focus of operations for the SMART initiative. SMART unifies resources and connections of Greenville University with local businesses.
The council approved a TIF agreement in the amount of $140,000 for an elevator and $40,000 from the Greenville Downtown and Renovation Grant Program for facade improvements.
City Manager Dave Willey explained the elevator will also help an adjoining business, Joe’s Pizza. Willey said Joe’s building only has a staircase from the alley to the second floor, which causes code-compliance problems, for public functions on the second floor. The TIF agreement would allow for an entry between the two buildings, alleviating the problem.
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The university has received a federal grant of nearly a million dollars for the project and will attempt to raise another one and one-half million dollars.
The other grant is to Farmland Auto Glass, which owns buildings at 216 North Third Street.
Willey said there are plans for Community Title to move into the north building, but ADA work needs to be done. The council approved an $18,000 Downtown Improvement and Renovation Grant.
The city manager said Matt Obermark purchased the building last year and has done a lot of work in the other tenant spaces already. He said the city views this as an opportunity to do a façade upgrade with a total cost of $36,000. The grant would cover about half of the cost.
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The motion on the Greenville University proposal was approved 3 to 0 with Jes Adam abstaining due to being a university employee. Councilman John Gillard had been at the meeting, but was not there when the votes were taken.
The vote on the Farmland proposal passed 3 to 1 with Adam casting the no.