August 2008 

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Visual Improvement Program Helps Numerous Businesses Thrive In City’s Redevelopment Area

Some downtown businesses have been getting facelifts, due in part to the Commercial Visual Improvement Program. The program, started by the city’s Redevelopment Agency in September 2004, provides up to $50,000 in rebates to business owners and operators to improve the exteriors of their commercial properties.

The most recent recipients of the program are the owners of the El Cortez, who plan to transform the current Ogden House Motel, located at 201 N. Seventh St., into the Cortez Cabana Suites, a boutique hotel. The owners received $50,000 through the program, which they plan to put toward the $6.3 million rehabilitation cost. The El Cortez recently completed massive renovations to its property in the downtown.

Since 2004, numerous projects have benefitted from the program. Recipients of the program have included law offices, bars and restaurants, wedding chapels, tattoo parlors and fitness clubs.

Along with the Commercial Visual Improvement Program, which is for projects within the city’s redevelopment area. A second program, the Entertainment District Visual Improvement Program, assists commercial and industrial projects in the city’s Downtown Entertainment District.


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