The Town of Colonial Beach has asked the Department of Housing and Community Development for an extension to complete work on the first phase of revitalization that will span the boardwalk in downtown Colonial Beach. The project area spans from the boardwalk to Washington Ave and from Colonial Ave to Boundry Street.
The town has been awarded two separate grants to revitalize the downtown area which includes the creation of two pedestrian plazas, several public improvements and loans for businesses to help beautify their properties and create new jobs. Phase I of the revitalization grant was funded by a Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Block Grant of $747,000. Phase II which includes the Colonial Ave Pedestrian Plaza will be funded by at $542,000 Transportation Alternative Project (TAP) Grant.
In Phase I the Facade Improvement Program allowed business applicants to receive forgivable loans which had to be matched at least 50 percent to improve the outside appearance of their buildings. The Facade Improvement Fund originally held $95,000.
To date several businesses have taken advantage of these loans and completed improvements. The request for extension is to allow three businesses to complete improvement work, St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Hunan Diner and Riverview Inn.
Hunan Diner received $15,000 from the facade grant. They are planning to refurbish the patio area, replace the fence around the patio and install a new awning and signage. The restaurant will also be repainted with a mural on the side of the building. Finally the Chinese theme will be strengthen by the installation of Chinese guardian lions.
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church will receive $10,000, among their renovations they will refurbish the original stained glass windows.
Riverview Inn will receive $17,381 in facade improvement money as well as $35,000 in Regional Grant money. The entire hotel is currently under renovations. Executive Director of the Northern Neck Planning District Commission, Jerry Davis said the PDC has approved a loan and Virginia Tourism likes the project and will try to help them with grants. Davis said, “The Riverview Inn will have over 1 million dollars invested in the project.”
Davis added, “We did ask for an extension until December 31 2017 from DHCD and were approved. So we have until the end of the calendar year to wrap things up. All three facades will be finished up in the next couple of months.”