Area Mainstreet organizations eligible for grant funding

PIQUA — The Ohio History Connection was awarded $556,327 to re-grant Ohio’s Main Street communities for the rehabilitation of historic commercial, industrial and former school buildings. Of those communities, Piqua Mainstreet is looking toward applying for funding through the grant.

“We’re eligible for the next round of applications. We submitted information about the Zolo Project, and we will enter into the application process Heritage Ohio puts together to hopefully receive some of that money,” Executive Director of Mainstreet Piqua Inc. Lorna Swisher said.

The Zolo Project is centered on the redevelopment of the historic Zollinger’s Building that sits on South Wayne Street. The building, which was once a grocery warehouse for Miami County, is planned to be redeveloped into a mixed-use destination featuring condominiums, co-working spaces, a public market, and community gardens.

“It would bring back to life a really magnificent building in our downtown, that is next to the bike path. It provides a very different living option that we do not have available in our community right now, and then that market-type experience would also be something we don’t currently have,” Swisher said. “We believe that that project is transformational, so we are looking forward to the next part of the process.”

This year is the second year of funding for the National Park Service grant program, and the first since the program was renamed in honor of the late Paul Bruhn, the former executive director of the Preservation Trust of Vermont. Out of 41 applicants from across the county who applied for the grant, only eight states were selected to receive funding. The grant program will be administered by Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office.

“Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office is excited to be working with Heritage Ohio to bring these grant funds to Ohio’s Main Street communities,” said Amanda Schraner Terrell, Director, State Historic Preservation Office. “This is a rare opportunity to provide federal bricks-and-mortar dollars to rural communities to encourage economic revitalization through historic preservation projects.”

“Heritage Ohio is thrilled to be working with Ohio History Connection to administer the Paul Bruhn Grants,” said Joyce Barrett of Heritage Ohio. “Heritage Ohio has been the coordinating agency for the Ohio Main Street Program since 1997. Sixteen Ohio Main Street communities have pre-qualified for what will be a competitive grant application in the fall of 2020. We expect four communities to be chosen to help fund transformative historic rehabilitation projects in their downtowns.”

Also eligible for the next round of applications are Troy Main Street Inc. and the Downtown Tipp City Partnership.