City to Seek Proposals for Historic Preservation Funds

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City to Seek Proposals for Historic Preservation Funds

Posted: 11/18/2014
November 18, 2014 - If you own a historic property in need of repair or renovation, help could be on the way from a new City of Knoxville Historic Preservation Fund. The City will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for projects that qualify for assistance from the $500,000 fund.

Mayor Madeline Rogero established the fund in this year's budget to help property owners with the often difficult and costly work of restoring historic properties throughout the City. At a public forum in July, more than 75 people provided feedback and ideas on how the fund can best be used.

"What we heard from property owners, preservation advocates and developers was that the fund should be flexible enough to meet a wide range of needs," said Becky Wade, the City's Director of Community Development. "So we will consider applications for both residential and commercial properties. These will be grants, but we will give preference to projects that include a proposal for repayment into the fund. It would be great to replenish the fund as much as possible, so that more properties can benefit from it."

Details of the application process and criteria for selection will be included in the RFP, which will be posted on the City's website soon. Although 95 percent of the fund will be dedicated to construction costs, 5 percent is set aside for non-construction proposals, which could include research or professional services. Proposals will be accepted for a two-month period, through the end of January 2015. A committee will then review the proposals and make awards.

"Historic properties are crucial to our civic identity," Mayor Rogero said. "They connect us with our history, and they give unique character to our neighborhoods and commercial districts that cannot be replaced once it's gone. This fund will help save buildings that have suffered decades of decay or neglect. As our vibrant downtown shows, the restoration of great buildings can help spark broader community revival."