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Dobby's, Downtown Building Owner, Seek Facade Grants

Two downtown building owners are seeking to take advantage of Palatine's new facade improvement program.

Two downtown building owners are hoping to take advantage of Palatine's .

Ray Franczak of at 15 S. Brockway St. and James Longfield, who owns two buildings downtown — 53 W. Slade St. and 17 N. Brockway St. through 25 N. Brockway Street — had their grant applications approved by the Village Council this week.

Dobby's matching grant would be for $10,285. In a letter to the village council, Franczak said he wanted to improve the building, pointing out that nearby Harrington Manor underwent a major renovation last year.

"With all these improvements being made Dobby's has begun to look drab and dated," Franczak stated. "We would like to renovate the exterior to match the work done at Harrington Manor to give the entire strip center a more unified updated look."

Dobby's plans include installing new awnings, new windows and doors, new paint, a new flag pole and new siding.

"We will mirror the color palette of the newly renovated Harrington Manor to give the entire strip center a more cohesive and updated look," Franczak stated.

James Longfield is seeking a grant to offset the costs of improvements to 53 W. Slade St., which is occupied . Improvements also would occur at 17 N. Brockway St. through 25 N. Brockway St., which is occupied by , and .

Deputy Village Manager Mike Jacobs said work on the T.J. O'Brien's building will include a replacement of the existing awning that is basically the top of the building.

"This building is going to have some significant work," Jacobs said. "They are going to be building a kind of a false-facade front ... that's going to give a whole new look to that building."

The maximum matching grant for the T.J. O'Brien's building would be $11,875.

The matching grant for Longfield's Brockway building would be about $49,000. The Brockway work would include new Americans With Disabilities Act compliant ramps and various brick work.

The grants would come from Palatine's downtown tax increment financing (TIF) district, not the village's general fund. The downtown tax increment financing district was created in 2002. The property tax revenue within the district was frozen at 2002 levels; increased property tax revenue since 2002 has gone into a TIF fund that is used for various public improvements within the district.

The grants are dependent on their being enough funds in the TIF for the 2012 budget year.

Only businesses located within the TIF district are eligible for the program. The boundary of the TIF snakes through downtown and its boundaries include areas on both sides of the railroad tracks downtown.

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