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DDA okays grants for work in 300 block of Broad Street

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Properties along the 300 block of Broad Street are getting major facelifts with the assistance of grants from the Downtown Development Authority. The agency approved a $3,000 grant for work at 317-319 Broad St. and a $5,000 grant for major work at 333 Broad St.

DDA Design committee chairman Ann Pullen called Jay Shell and Trent Praults work at 333 Broad, “Huge, badly needed renovations.”

The building will be part of the Rome City Brewing Company.

All of the old awnings on the building are being removed, residential windows are being replaced, the building is getting a paint job and new bi-fold nesting doors are being added in the front while a metal roll up door will be added for deliveries on the West First Street side of the building.

The old dining room at 333 Broad will be used for the brewery, with a tasting bar at the back of the ground floor.

The second floor will also feature a tasting room with rooftop bar that will offer a small food menu to the public two or three days a week, according to Shell.

The building at 317-319-Broad is owned by Naranjo-Medina Enterprises. Pullen said the work proposed at that location includes the replacement of rotting windows on the front, side and rear of the building as well as new stairs on the rear of the property looking toward the Forum River Center.

The DDA also agreed to purchase new holiday lighting for Broad Street. Director Amanda Carter said the number of three-foot tall snowflake lights that will be attached to light poles up and down Broad Street will depend on final pricing for the lights.

“It would make it look more like Christmas,” said Steve White, a member of the DDA board.

Funds to help purchase the new lights come in part from a grant from the Christmas in Rome parade committee.

Improving lighting in downtown was one of the issues identified during an open planning meeting with downtown residents and property owners in October.

The panel also discussed an increase in its contribution to the operation of the Convention and Visitors Bureau Roman Chariot golf carts that offer free shuttle service in the downtown district on weekend.

“Ridership has way exceeded what we thought the Roman Chariot would do,” Carter said.

The CVB has indicated that cost of maintenance of the golf carts has been higher than anticipated. A final decision on the DDA appropriation, which was $8,000 this year, will be made at the December meeting.