Crys Armbrust looks at the design of a wrought-iron railing designed for the St. Luke’s Plaza by Saluda Forge owner Bill Crowell.  (photo submitted)
Crys Armbrust looks at the design of a wrought-iron railing designed for the St. Luke’s Plaza by Saluda Forge owner Bill Crowell. (photo submitted)

$50,000 Main Street grant assists with St. Luke’s Plaza project

Published 5:42pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A $50,000 Main Street Solution Fund (MSSF) grant bolstered progress this week on the St. Luke’s Plaza project in Tryon.

Tryon Tourism and Business Development Coordinator Crys Armbrust said the town received official word Tuesday, July 16 that it would receive the funds that didn’t become available until April of this year.

“I thought the state would have done everything in its power to reappropriate those monies, particularly in the economic climate we’re in,” Armbrust said. “It’s essential, particularly in rural areas, to have such a sum of grant monies designated particularly for small towns.”

The grant is awarded through the NC Dept. of Commerce.

This marks a total of $200,000 awarded to Tryon through the MSSF program. Tryon received $150,000 for work on the Depot plaza, located just above N. Trade Street, in March 2012.

That grant program requires private/public matches. For the Depot Plaza project a contribution of $525,000 from Dr. John Hooker,  for the construction of his new offices, met the private match requirement, while Bill Lane’s more than $307,940 contribution for the St. Luke’s Plaza building satisfies the public portion of this new grant. Armbrust said both private contributions to the projects substantially exceeded the estimated costs.

In all, Tryon private investors have contributed $4.16 to every $1 the state has put into these projects. 

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