City’s facade improvement program done

  • Celebrating the new facade installed at 282 Main Street are from left, Peter Miller of the Historical Commission, Mark Penfield of RG Penfield and Sons, MJ Adams, the Community Developement Administrator for the City Of Greenfield, Bill Baker of Baker Office Supplies, Timothy Grader, owner of 282 Main Street and Rachael Katz of The Greenfield Gallery. January 11, 2018. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—Paul Franz...

  • Timothy Grader, at right, owner of 282 Main St. in Greenfield, talks with Bill Baker outside the newly renovated storefront on Thursday. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Thursday, January 11, 2018

GREENFIELD — Sporting a fresh coat of dark green paint and a new design with historic influences, the former home of Fran’s Designer Clothing Outlet on Main Street is the latest — and final — storefront to be renovated through the city’s facade improvement program.

A group of town officials and local property owners gathered in the storefront Thursday morning to celebrate the completion of the program, which helped to rehab five downtown buildings using a combination of Community Development Block Grant money and private investment.

Because the grant was federally funded, property owners were required to work with the town’s Historic Commission.

Timothy Grader, who owns the building at 282 Main St., said when he purchased the property just over a year ago, its two recessed storefronts looked out of character with the downtown. He said his company, Holyoke Property Management, has had better luck with buildings that are architecturally interesting.

“We’re much more successful with them, we have much more interesting retailers in those stores, and so when this opportunity came along to work with the Historic Commission and MJ (Adams) at the Economic Development office, we jumped on it,” Grader said, adding the new design was influenced by other historic downtown storefronts. “RG Penfield did an amazing job with the construction, they got it done really quickly and in terrible weather. They really went above and beyond to pull it together.”

The storefront, most recently occupied by Fran’s Designer Clothing Outlet, is vacant, but Grader said he has heard from several businesses who are interested in renting the space.

In addition to Grader’s building, the The Bird-Hovey Block, home to Baker’s Office Supply; 8-16 Federal St., owned by People’s Pint owner Alden Booth; Swift Cleaners; and the Botsford Block, home to Greenfield Gallery, were renovated through the program. The property owners invested more than $300,000 in the buildings, according to Community Development Administrator MJ Adams.

“I’ve been with the city for two years now, and when I came on board, one of the first things I wanted to do was start working with folks to get this in the works,” Adams said, adding, “It’s really great to use this money and invest in the local community with local contractors doing the work here.”