downtown association program gives Yakima buildings a facelift | Local

YAKIMA – First impressions are important in many situations, including if buyers decide to visit a small business.

For this reason, the Downtown Association of Yakima is offering homeowners in its downtown business district the opportunity to apply for funding as part of its facade improvement program.

The program’s 2021 project provided $ 10,000 for repairs and upgrades to the masonry on the west and south sides of the Opera building at 25 N. Front St., owned by Nancy Rayner.

This undated Downtown Association of Yakima photo shows brick and mortar repairs in progress on the Opera House at 25 N. Front St. The work was partially funded by a grant from the City Hall Improvement Program. DAY facade.

“It has helped tremendously,” Rayner said of the funding for the facade program. “I encourage anyone doing work similar to this to come in and talk to Andrew (Holt, executive director of DAY) and the design committee. It’s a great help and they provide a lot of support and information.

The Opera building has a rich history with many different uses, said Holt. It was the first theater in the city of Yakima, a brewery and the country’s first brewpub, in addition to being home to numerous restaurants and shops. The building, which is over 130 years old, is listed on the National Historic Register.

Rayner has owned it since 1992 and the building houses the SEWN sewing studio on the west side, a beauty salon on the south side and a tattoo parlor.

“Part of the brick had lost mortar,” she said. “We had to go in and repoint and rebuild several sections of the facade, as well as the south side and rear terraces.”

While the brick, mortar and plaster work was completed, the onset of cold and inclement weather prevented the new facade from being painted this fall, Rayner said. It will be done in the spring.

Opera after

The west side of the Opera House after completion of masonry work this fall. It will be painted in the spring, said owner Nancy Rayner.

Holt called the Opera’s work a major success, noting that the $ 10,000 DAY grant was part of an overall $ 55,000 project.

“This is why this program is so important. This sparks greater investment which, in turn, contributes to economic development, ”said Holt. “We are also very grateful that owners like Nancy Rayner are making such significant investments in their historic downtown buildings.”

“Since the project was approved we have seen a new company, SEWN, move into the front street storefront, a back room has been leased for storage and there is a new tattoo parlor in the south storefront. store, ”he added. . “Is this growth directly linked to the improvement of the facade? I wouldn’t have the audacity to say that, but we know it increased the appeal of being in the building, and that’s definitely a major factor.

The annual DAY facade improvement program is a 50/50 matching grant with money solely for the purpose of improving a facade. The program, which began in 2015, has given more than $ 75,000 to nine different companies, Holt said.

The source of funding is a budget line in DAY’s operating budget and the amount allocated each year is voted on by the board of directors, he added.

Repaired facade of the Opera building

Repairs to the facade of the Opera House on Front Street in downtown Yakima, Wash. Are taking place on Monday, December 27, 2021.

The application period for the Facade Improvement Grants 2022 runs from February 1 to the end of March, with the announcement of the award in early May. Recipients sign an agreement and must have completed the project by the end of the fall.

Information on the DAY facade improvement program, grant instructions and applications can be found at

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