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Suwanee grant program to help with upgrades

SUWANEE - The Suwanee Downtown Development Authority is implementing a program to provide grants for exterior improvements to buildings in downtown Suwanee.

The Facade Improvement Grant Program can be used to improve buildings in Town Center as well as the city's historic Old Town, a news release said.

"By offering dollars to help pay for enhancements, we hope to improve the aesthetic appeal of the downtown district," DDA Chairman Kevin R. O'Brien said. "We'd like to see these grants spur owners to make improvements, from a little sprucing up or needed maintenance to complete renovations. We're also encouraging the preservation of historic buildings by giving these projects higher priority."

The program is funded through a contribution from the Suwanee branch of BB&T bank, located in Suwanee's Town Center.

"We're supporting the Facade Grant Program because it's a strong incentive for reinvestment in downtown Suwanee," Denise Bradley, branch manager of BB&T at Town Center, said. "Good design and maintenance are key factors in the economic success of downtown Suwanee and contribute to increasing values of properties as well."

The program offers matching grants up to $750 for residential projects and up to $2,500 for commercial projects.

Eligible projects include repairs to exterior facades, exterior painting, repair or restoration of trim, replacement of nonconforming signs, architectural lighting and landscaping, among other types of improvements, the news release states.

Property owners - and tenants with long-term leases and landlord approval - may apply for the grants. The first round of applications will be accepted through Sept. 2.

The Suwanee DDA Design Committee will review applications and award grants. Funds will be paid as reimbursement for eligible expenses after completion and final approval of the project, the news release states.

The DDA anticipates two rounds of funding each year, depending upon available grant monies.

Application materials and guidelines are available from Suwanee's Downtown Program office, located in the Crossroads Center at 323 Buford Highway.

For more information, contact Downtown Suwanee Manager Jane Keegan at 770-945-8996 or jkeegan@suwanee.com.