Thibodaux Main Street, Inc. has announced the award of a $10,000 grant to a local commercial property through the Louisiana Main Street Restoration Grant Program. The property, located at 514 W. 3rd St. in Thibodaux, was first built in 1954 as a Western Auto Parts store. Now known as the Schifani Building, the grant will allow for major improvements and restoration with the goal of restoring the property’s original architectural features and making it suitable for occupancy.
“They’re going to be focusing on the interior of the building because it’s been vacant for so long. There are a lot of structural issues, so they need to get all of that in working order so that they can prepare the building for a commercial tenant,” said Executive Director of Thibodaux Main Street Danielle Stein.
This grant, made possible through the help of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation and Louisiana Main Street, will allow for a total of $20,000 to be invested into interior work on the property.
“They were already motivated to get this property in a condition suitable for occupancy, so once the grant came out they hit the ground running. So, yes it’s pretty significant, especially with a grant of this size. $10,000 of free money can really do a lot for a building that’s been sitting vacant for years right in the heart of downtown,” Stein said.
Stein said that the availability of this grant opportunity helped the property owners in deciding what to do with the property once they purchased it.
“Unless property owners receive a grant, a lot of times they’re not motivated to move on a property or to invest in it. Luckily for us, these were new property owners. They just purchased this building within the last six months, and almost at the same time that the grant opportunity came out. So, it kind of served as a catalyst for them,” Stein said.
Stein said that the scope of work had to be submitted as part of the grant process, so the focus of the project is already set. The property owners were allowed to begin the project on November 1 of this year and have until June 30, 2021 to complete their work.