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Downtown Greenwood will receive its first makeover

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — More than a million dollars will go toward improving the exteriors of businesses in downtown Greenwood. The focus is near the intersection of Main Street and Madison Avenue.

The city is restoring its historic look from the 1920s and 30s. Some of the buildings at that intersection have been around for about 200 years and have never been updated.

“My building has been there since the 1870s. It’s pretty cool knowing something that was present during the Civil War and Billy the Kid and Jesse James time, you know,” said building owner Eric Risk.

Risk’s building used to be an old bank. He transformed it into his law office.

“It still has the vault there. It’s very cool. (It’s) still working too,” said Risk.

Along Madison Avenue and Main Street, Eric’s building and 21 others will receive a face lift.

“It’s a piece of history, so I’m excited that the city is willing to help out by getting the grand and assisting,” said Risk.

Business owners will cover 20 percent of the cost and Greenwood will pickup the remainder. The money comes from three different funds. $578,000 will come from the Redevelopment Commission. $400,000 comes from a grant from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. $193,430 comes from property owners. The total budget for the project is $1,171,430.

“The goal is to revitalize our downtown. It was dying. If we want people to come to Greenwood to bring their business to Greenwood, the first place they’re going to come to is my office. They’re going to come visit us and we want them to see a healthy vibrant, livable walk-able downtown area,” said Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers.

Improvements will include painting, replacing some windows and doors, changing out weathered vinyl siding for brick, repairing worn bricks, and removing some of the awnings. The mayor hopes the changes will bring business back, while Risk hopes the changes will bring history back.

“You want to preserve history and the feel that it brings. You still have the small town feel,” said Risk.

Bidding for the project will take place this fall. Construction is expected to kick off in January. In addition, Main Street will be repaved next week.