CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Charleston Urban Renewal Authority continued to discuss adding the Elk City area of Charleston's west side into the West Side Urban Renewal District at the authority's meeting Wednesday morning.
The area under consideration for expansion runs west to east from Hunt Avenue to the Elk River, and north to south from the CSX railroad tracks to the Kanawha River.
Previously, part of this area had its own renewal district, but the district was allowed to expire several years ago.
Should the renewal district be expanded, it would open up the Elk City area to increased funding and other redevelopment opportunities.
CURA decided to advertise hiring a consulting firm to expand the current district at its meeting. That doesn't mean that the West Side Urban Renewal District will be expanded for certain, however. Once a consulting firm is selected, the firm will give its findings to CURA, which could vote to approve the expansion before the plan goes to the Charleston City Council for approval.
Stephanie Johnson, executive director of West Side Main Street, which is involved in the West Side Urban Renewal District, said that West Side Main Street is working on revamping its priorities and possibly rebranding its image.
"A lot of good things are to come," she said.
In other business, CURA decided that facade and sign grants in Charleston's East End will continue to be available for the next year by continuing to find the programs through East End Main Street.
CURA will provide up to $20,000 to reimburse property owners in the East End who submit applications and are approved for the grant money through East End Main Street. The grants can be for varying amounts, with limits of $5,000 for facades and $1,500 for signs. Properties must be located in designated areas and must meet other guidelines set forth by East End Main Street.
Businesses that have used that grant money in the past include Little India, Bluegrass Kitchen and the new Umami sushi restaurant, among others.
East End Main Street Executive Director Ric Cavender told CURA that the grants also help business owners invest additional money into the neighborhood. Cavender said that for every $1 spent through the grants, an average of $34.82 is invested by business and property owners.
Contact writer Matt Murphy at Matt.Mur...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4817.