Norwich – Long-running projects and building improvements will get a boost in the first round of Norwich Revitalization Scheme grants announced on Thursday.
Norwich Community Development Corp. announced that eight development projects with a total private investment value of $4.2 million will receive a combined $1.2 million in grants under the Norwich revitalization scheme. The city set up the program with $2 million in US federal bailout grants.
Among the projects, the grants will help with the stalled conversion of the former Elks Club on Main Street into a small hotel, renovate lower buildings on Broadway and help a family expand their motorcycle business in Greeneville.
Grant recipients interviewed on Thursday said the money will help recoup losses from work delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic, skyrocketing cost of materials and fuel, and issues with larger buildings. city elders.
Street Stuff, a family-owned motorcycle showroom and service center at 4 Central Ave. in Greeneville, will receive a $263,000 grant from the Norwich Revitalization Program to add to the family’s $600,000 investment to renovate the former vacant AP Savage Hardware building at 192 N. Main St Street Stuff will open a new showroom for iconic motorcycle brands Triumph and Indian, with a grand opening on Friday and Saturday.
“The grant certainly helps cover the renovation costs we had,” said Monica Krasun-Mish, general manager of Street Stuff. “Our budget was exceeded, due to supply and demand and prices which increased considerably. We have greatly exceeded our budget. »
The family business has faced more than rising costs. The new showroom was the dream of company founder Rich Krasun. He bought the building in October 2020 but died of COVID-19 in January 2021 just as renovations were beginning, his daughter, Monica Krasun-Mish, said.
She, her brother, Eric Krasun, and their mother, Charlene Krasun, are keeping her dream alive. The Central Avenue store will remain open for used motorcycles and service. The new store will triple the showroom space.
“We invested a good amount of money there to bring this historic property back,” Krasun-Mish said.
Steve Brenneisen, owner of Ross Custom Switches at 45 Church St., is familiar with the problems and expense of historic buildings. He purchased his 1858 building in 1998 for his growing model train and accessory business. With sales exclusively online and people stuck at home during the pandemic, he said orders had skyrocketed over the past two years.
The second floor of the building is largely unusable, as the roof is sagging. The $125,000 grant will be in addition to the $230,000 that Brenneisen will invest to replace the roof. He said he hopes the new second-floor space will allow him to open a retail store on Church Street.
“The City of Norwich from 1998 to the present has always helped me save the building and keep it from decaying and falling into the abyss,” Brenneisen said.
These Guys Brewing Co. will be Brenneisen’s neighbor, moving and expanding its restaurant in the former Hebrew School at 49 Church Street. Renovation and relocation project.
Ganesha Hospitality LLC purchased the former Elks Club on Main Street in 2019 and received city approvals for a boutique hotel. Then COVID-19 hit and stalled the project. Developer Amit Patel said work was paused for about 18 months, but has resumed and is progressing well. The project received a $165,283 grant to leverage the company’s $225,000 investment in building improvements.
Patel said the first phase, with 24 hotel rooms and a conference hall, is nearing completion. A banquet hall and a bar will be the second phase.
“The grant helps us recoup most of our losses from delays and accrued liabilities, as well as material cost differentials,” Patel said. “It’s just breathtaking. We hope to finish this year.”
Rich Thayer, owner of Thayer’s Marine, said the city’s $240,000 grant will help make flood-proofing modifications to an old warehouse, which the company bought from the city several years ago, behind the center Norwich Transport. Thayer’s Marine plans to open a boat showroom and expand its service area in the building. The company is investing $340,549 in the building.
Thayer said he hopes to complete the work this summer.
JD Donner, owner of Antenna Salon on the second floor of the commercial building owned by Donner Family LLC, said he was “very, very grateful” for the NCDC grant and support for the installation project. a covered outdoor elevator on the right side. of the building at 190 W. Town St. The elevator will allow Antenna Salon customers who cannot climb stairs to access the business and will allow future stylists who cannot climb stairs to work.
Donner Family LLC will receive $37,500 for the project and Donner will contribute $150,000. Donner thanked the entire NCDC staff for their help with the bid, as well as the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Peter Nystrom for their support of the project. Donner celebrates its 30th anniversary in business this month.
“They were all really shooting for me because they know what it means to my clients and stylists who can’t climb stairs,” Donner said. “And customers, just for them to have access to my salon, it’s very, very important. The community has supported me a lot. »
Editor’s note: This version corrects the spelling of Charlene Krasun’s first name in the photo captions.