WVPA Sharing

Downtown Beckley to host grant program for historic landmarks

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Many buildings in downtown Beckley’s national historic district qualify for grant funding for rehabilitation, says a spokesman for the Downtown Beckley Business Association, which is hosting state representatives to address eligibility at its July 2 meeting.Up to 50 percent of the cost of repairs for roofs, foundations and other priority development projects may be covered by grants managed through the State Historic Preservation Office, according to Jim Chambers, a district property owner and co-chair of the business association.
The meeting will be held in the Old Federal Courthouse at 400 Neville Street beginning at 5:15 p.m. on July 2. For more information on the meeting or the association, contact Jim Chambers at 304-573-4332 or David Sibray at 304-575-7390.In combination with 30-percent tax credits available for historic buildings, the grants increase the viability of property in the downtown, and many building owners are ready to pursue both funding opportunities, Chambers said.”One of the greatest benefits of building ownership here is the eligibility for grants and tax credits,” Chambers said.

“Now that property owners are being notified that these programs are available, they’ve asked us to invite the state back for an overview of the grant program.”

The state last year announced that the city had endangered its federal status as a historic district and the availability of grants and tax credits, though Chambers said the economic peril has actually engaged property owners.

“When the state announced that the city might lose the district, many of us were unsure what that meant, but now we know it was a financial threat, and we’re ready to turn the corner and take back what was almost lost,” he said.

Chambers said upcoming lectures to be hosted by the association with focus on valuation and economic development.

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