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La Salle approves $25,000 grant for rehabilitation at 502 First St. – Shaw Local

Mike Bird has a talent for renovating buildings, having previously converted an old building into the Auditorium Ballroom. Now he wants to restore another building with the help of the city.

On Tuesday, the La Salle City Council unanimously granted Bird’s petition for two redevelopment incentive grants totaling $25,000 for siding on the north and west sides of the building at 502 First St., as well as a handicapped-accessible bathroom.

Councilor Tom Ptak said he believed all was well with the property and told councilors to “look into it” as Bird had put a lot of work into the building.

“I think the windows of the building look great,” Ptak said. “I spoke to him last week, it sounds like he has two potential tenants. And this I think Mr. Bird is being maximized for this program.

Bird has used all its money from the redevelopment incentive grants. In January, he received $25,000 for facade improvements, specifically glass commercial storefront doors, on two sides of the corner building.

Economic Development Director Curt Bedei said business owners can apply for up to $50,000 per address every five years.

The city also awarded Bird a $40,000 commercial redevelopment grant in April to convert the building walls into four units. Commercial redevelopment grants were provided by La Salle County through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Bird plans to have four retail units with communal restrooms, and on land leased from the city, a wrap-around boardwalk with views of the Illinois River.

Councilman Jordan Crane said he wanted to remind the public that redevelopment incentive grants are available to everyone — not just certain people.

Business owners interested in the redevelopment incentive grant can apply at https://www.lasalle-il.gov/contact/redevelopment_incentive_program.

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