Bridgewater awards $25,000 in facade improvement funds

by Keith Corcoran

Bridgewater taxpayers are contributing a total of $25,000 toward facelifts for a few King Street buildings.

Downtown King Street structures receiving $5,000 each in Facade Improvement Program (FIP) money toward renovations are the Jac's Burger and Shakes building at civic address 688, the former home of Vogue Optical at 509/511/513, the ex-Mr. Surplus location at 517, the Speedy Cash address at 581, and River Pub at 750.

The FIP is an application-based cost-sharing program reviewed by a committee of civic politicians, citizens and business leaders, and makes recommendations to town council. Under FIP, Bridgewater matches spending of eligible proposals up to $5,000 that improves the look of a building exterior in the downtown core.

The money "is a small price to pay to make our town look good," Councillor Michael Graves told a recent meeting of civic politicians where most of project funding was approved.

Mayor David Mitchell agreed, feeling encouraged with the "investment being put back" into the downtown.

The former optical business location is getting over $23,000 worth of improved lighting, cladding, trim, soffit and fascia repair. The old Mr. Surplus building is in line for $50,000 in lighting, brick masonry reappointment and replacement, ground floor commercial window replacement, and second floor window and trim replacement. Both of those addresses are owned by Halifax-based Black Seal Properties, a major developer in the neighbourhood.

The River Pub, owned by Rob Keevil, aims for at least $60,000 in metal roofing, newly framed windows, metal roofing, trim, cladding, and other upgrades.

Meanwhile, Bob and Jane Cumings, of Whisk Realty, owners of 668 King Street, plans over $15,000 in renovations to the Jac's building. Chimney flashing repair; fascia, trim, corner board and crown moulding replacement; and front facade metal cladding restoration, are among the renovations. The restaurant is on the first floor, storage for the business exists on the second floor and the top floor is vacant.

The Speedy Cash building is getting $10,500 worth of storefront restoration to resemble adjacent suites, along with trim and cornice installation. Robert Selfe of Lower Rose Bay in Lunenburg County is the address owner.

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