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Grants for Good Cause Gifts, Office Building Push Main Street Renovations Forward

A makeover will soon be coming to the business at 384 Main Street, thanks in large part to a grant from the state funded Facade and Landscape Grant program.

Credit: Berlin GIS.
Credit: Berlin GIS.
The new-look Main Street effort is continuing to grow, this time with a makeover set to take place at the Good Cause Gifts store and the office of Dr. Michael S. Tosatti - thanks in part to a little help from the state.

Mayor Rachel Rochette announced Thursday that the town has approved two applications its new state funded Facade and Landscape Grant program. Futures Inc. (Good Cause Gifts) was approved for a matching grant of up to $20,000 for their property at 384 Main Street.

“I congratulate and thank Futures, Inc. and (Dr. Michael S. Tosatti) for the participating in the façade grant that is intended to improve the aesthetic environment of Berlin’s downtown area. I look forward to seeing these projects completed and many more to follow,” Rochette said.

Berlin Economic Development Director James Mahoney said the project will include repainting of the front and side building exterior, an awning over the front of the building, landscaping and benches.

Good Cause Gifts is a division of Futures, Inc., and is dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities live fully integrated lives within their local communities by offering training and employment opportunities in a retail setting.

The second approved project is for Michael S. Tosatti, DMD for his office at 1067 Farmington Ave. The matching grant of up to $6,811 will be used to install a new front door, new decorative trim, three new windows, repainting of the business signs and improvements to the parking area, Mahoney said.

The Façade and Landscape Grant program will provide matching grants to assist in improving landscaping and facades of private properties in the Town’s Commercial Core District (CCD) zones, except on the Berlin Turnpike.

The eligible area is the main commercial area radiating from the Berlin Train Station including New Britain Road and parts of Farmington Avenue, Main Street and Mill Street.Copies of the program guidelines, application, Farmington Avenue Design Guidelines and form of grant agreement are on line on the town's website under the Economic Development Department at www.town.berlin.ct.us.

To help property owners to plan improvements that are consistent with the program objectives, the town is offering potential applicants the opportunity to have a consultation with the Project Architect, Economic Development Director Jim Mahoney and Director of Development Hellyn Riggins. According to Economic Development Director Jim Mahoney,

“About a dozen property owners have inquired about the program and have completed the initial consultation phase," Mahoney said. "We expect more applications this winter for project to be started in the spring.”

Contact Jim Mahoney 860-828-7005 jmahoney@town.berlin.ct.us or Hellyn Riggins 860-828-7066 hriggins@town.berlin.ct.us  to for information or to arrange for a consultation appointment.

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