New Castle Main Street is preparing for an active year ahead. The PreservINg Main Street grant implementation is underway, along with other initiatives to facilitate further enhancement of the downtown district.
Serving as a resource for building owners
Interest in owning downtown buildings continues to grow, and current building owners are a crucial part of the development efforts for downtown New Castle. Their investment in their buildings is making a visible and meaningful impact.
“Our primary focus this year is celebrating our building owners and connecting them with resources they need to continue to repair and beautify their buildings,” noted Main Street’s Executive Director Carrie Barrett.
Main Street is helping building owners connect with grant funding, working with them to navigate historic preservation requirements, and exploring building use options designed to bring in funding.
Studying the feasibility of upper-level housing
New Castle, like much of the nation, is experiencing a housing crisis. The need for affordable market-rate apartments continues to grow, and the vacant second and third stories of most downtown buildings may help alleviate this crisis locally.
“Downtown housing would attract residents and stimulate economic growth,” Barrett explained. “Successful revitalization will lead to increased foot traffic, local spending, and property values, directly benefiting local businesses and tax revenue.”
Through the generosity of New Lisbon Broadband and Communication (NLBC), New Castle Main Street is currently working with an architect to conduct feasibility studies for downtown housing for six buildings. This study will help participating building owners with field measurements, floor plans, 3D renderings, building code analysis and preliminary cost estimates and schedules.
The feasibility study will include a comprehensive analysis of market demand, economic viability, regulatory requirements, and architectural feasibility. The study will offer data-driven insights into the optimal unit mix, pricing, amenities, and design elements that will maximize occupancy and revenue.
By identifying potential obstacles early on, building owners can proactively address them and create a comprehensive business plan that minimizes risks. The feasibility study’s findings will not only guide decisions but also instill confidence in potential investors, lenders, and stakeholders, making it easier to secure the necessary funding.
Workshop series starts March 6, 2024
As part of the $2 million PreservINg Main Street grant, New Castle Main Street received funding for educational workshops. The first workshop, “Anatomy of a Main Street Building” will be presented on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 by Abby Huff, who is the Indiana Main Street representative for Main Street America. Abby holds a Master of Fine Arts in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Future workshops will include topics such as Historic Tax Credits, Historic Preservation as an Economic Development Tool, Communicating with Decision Makers, and Architecture of New Castle. For more details about these workshops, follow New Castle Main Street on Facebook and Instagram and sign up for our email newsletter.