Friday, May 09, 2008

Downtown Clayton’s First Façade Improvement Grant Project Completed

The owners of Cider House Studio in downtown Clayton received a $2,000 check today having completed improvements to the front façade of the building in which their business is located at 436 E Main Street. It is the first project utilizing the Town of Clayton’s Downtown Facade Improvement Grant program. The program reimburses an approved project 50% of the eligible costs up to $5000. Clayton Mayor Jody McLeod and Mayor pro tem Robert Ahlert presented the check to business owners Brandon Carpenter and Holley Carpenter.

Mayor Jody McLeod said the Downtown Façade Improvement Grant program is one of the ways the Town is helping to make Clayton a better place to do business. “It is critically important that the buildings look as good as they can in order for downtown to remain a viable and thriving business center and be the social and cultural hub of Clayton.”

Brandon Carpenter and Holley Carpenter sought to improve the appearance of the building, which is owned by Karen and Jamie Goff. The building is a block box with apartments on the upper floor. Holley’s improvements included adding wood-framed shutters on the second level to match and balance the existing window which was in the middle of the building. Dentil molding and trim was added to the top of the building, and the front elevation of the building was painted a light green with the new window shutters painted a darker green. Trim was painted a cream. A flower box was added beneath each of the front storefront windows, and a new metal mailbox was installed to the left of the storefront window. The cost of the improvements was $4,000.

Jeme Avent, vice-chair of the Downtown Development Association’s Design Committee said, “If it weren’t for the façade grant program, this project would not likely have happened. Although they are a new business, and don’t even own the building, Holley and Brandon recognize the importance that the appearance of a building can play in the success of their business.” She added, “One of the best investments a business or property owner can make is in their building. Well maintained buildings and a well maintained downtown will help bring and keep more people doing business and living in downtown Clayton.”

Asked about the grant application process, Holley Carpenter said, “It was fairly simple and didn’t require a lot of extra legwork.” She added, the application asks for information you would need anyway, such as a description of the proposed improvements and a couple of cost estimates.” Other than signing a few documents and waiting a reasonable time for an approval, “the process was a breeze.”

A program description and application is available online at the Town of Clayton website at and click Business Development.

The Downtown Facade Improvement Grant program is administered by the Clayton Downtown Development Association. For more information contact Downtown Development Coordinator, Bruce Naegelen at (919) 553-1545 or

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