Quincy loan program helps to revitalize historical buildings - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Quincy loan program helps to revitalize historical buildings

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Quincy's downtown is filled with several historic buildings and some of them are deteriorating and in need of renovations. That's why some building owners are turning to a city loan program to make the necessary updates.

Back in the early 1900's, Mercantile Bank and many other businesses called the old Dodd Building home. Today, Second String Music occupies the 1st floor. The other top stories are left empty.

Rodney Hart is the owner of Second String Music and says he's hoping to revitalize the 2nd floor of the building, ultimately restoring a structure that's sat neglected for more than 3 decades.

"We got money from the city, in the form of a loan, tied in with our mortgage from the Bank of Springfield to do renovation work," said Hart. "And, without doing some renovation work up there that's just a bunch of walls falling apart."

The revolving loan fund is not only helping to make Hart's vision a reality, but City Planner Chuck Bevelheimer says it's helped in more than 250 renovations, expansions or new buildings in the downtown area.

"The city offers up to $50,000 for acquisition of properties," said Bevelheimer. "It requires the property owner to get bank participation on the acquisition; we'll do up to 50% or $50,000."

The owner is also required to provide a minimum of 20% equity, but Hart says it'll be worth it in the end. 

"We're from Quincy. We live in Quincy. We work in Quincy. This is what we're about and this is what we're going to try to do to this building," said Hart. "Try to bring it back."

Hart says he's planning on making the 2nd floor commercial retail stores. He hopes on having it ready for new tenants by the end of the year.

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