Grant to fund facade improvement for Plainfield building
By Madhu Mayer For The Herald-News August 21, 2012 9:18AM
Updated: September 27, 2012 10:58AM
PLAINFIELD — At a time when businesses are making the painful decision to close shop, one Plainfield proprietor is looking to make improvements.
The Plainfield Village Board on Monday approved Robert Whitley Jr.’s facade grant application to update the one-story professional office at 15028 S. DesPlaines St. The proposed improvements include removing and replacing the front entry doors, as well as removal and replacement of windows on the east and north elevations.
The reimbursement to Whitley will not exceed $11,000.
The village’s facade improvement program is designed to promote the continued use and maintenance of commercial buildings in the downtown area by helping property owners and tenants rehabilitate and restore eligible structures.
The grant reimburses up to 50 percent of the total project’s construction cost, not to exceed $150,000 per project.
Planner Jonathan Proulx said the property is in the downtown tax increment financing district. The original building was constructed around 1965 and is described as an “excellent example of a mid-century professional office building.”
“The survey form from the Historic Urbanized Core Survey completed in late 2005 does not recommend it for local or national landmark status, although the property is identified as potentially contributing to a local historic district,’’ added Proulx.
Trustee Paul Fay said as long as money is available in the TIF account, the current proposal should move forward.
Proulx further explained that the proposed project is somewhat different from the most common facade improvement projects, which typically involve restoration or rehabilitation of late-19th century or early 20th century commercial buildings on Lockport Street.
“The subject property is more modern, having been constructed in the 1960s,” continued Proulx. “However, at over 40 years in age, the building is in need of replacement windows.”
Proulx said the existing building is worthy of being preserved and that, with investment, the structure can continue to be a viable commercial property well into the future.