Main Street Program
What is the purpose of the Watertown Main Street Facade Program?
This is a long-term project to rehabilitate the unique historic architecture in the Public Square National Register Historic District. The program is a downtown revitalization strategy designed to preserve the historic character of Public Square for the present and future generations.
Who pays for facade rehabilitation projects?
Neighbors Of Watertown has secured funds from the NYS Housing Trust Fund Corporation’s Main Street Program Program which will pay for 50% of the work up to $10,000 per façade unit. The Watertown Local Development Corp. has agreed to provide the other 50% if the owner places the façade in the Façade Easement Program The property owner will be required to pay the entire match if an easement is not granted or if the cost of the work exceeds available funding.
In addition the program will provide 50% of the cost of interior building renovation, up to $50,000 per building. Loan funds may be available for the match.
Who administers and operates the Facade Program?
Neighbors Of Watertown, Inc. (Neighbors), is a Qualified 501-C3 Not-For-Profit Corporation, that will coordinate the rehabilitation of the Facades, perform annual inspections and oversee their long-term maintenance, as required by enabling legislation. Neighbors is eligible, within its purposes, to receive public and private funding for historically rehabilitating eligible facades in the District and has the demonstrated ability to do so.
Who oversees the Program?
A Public Square Historic District Façade Program Committee (Committee), appointed by NOW and the WLDC, will meet periodically to set policies and procedures for the Program and to ensure that it is operating in the best interests of the Public Square National Register Historic District and within all State and Federal regulations governing Façade Programs.
How do I know if my property is eligible for the program?
Promotion and coordination of the Program will be done by Neighbors Of Watertown, Inc.. Neighbors will promote the program through brochures, press releases and meetings with downtown building owners.
Eligible properties are:
a.) Located in the Public Square Target Area; and
b.) Free of any Building Code violations or health and safety hazards upon completion; and
c.) Determined by the Committee as within Program guidelines; and
d.) Additional priority will be given buildings certified by the U.S. Department of the Interior as contributing to the Historic District and on which the owner agrees to grant a Facade Easement.
What fees are required to participate?
The property owner will be responsible for the first $2,500 as follows:
1.) An application fee of $250 will be charged. Upon payment a project package will be established with program documents and evidence of eligibility.
2.) A Neighbors Rehab Specialist will inspect the property and prepare a preliminary scope and budget. A fee of $250 per façade section will be charged for this phase.
3.) If the owner wishes to proceed, a fee of $2,000 will be charged for architectural plans, specs and bid packages.
How do I apply for the Program?Neighbors Of Watertown, Inc.
Owners should contact Neighbors Of Watertown and request an informational packet and a preliminary meeting.
112 Franklin Street
Watertown, NY 13601