DDA hands out nearly $93,000 in grants

Jan. 13—The Brunswick Downtown Development Authority granted almost $93,000 in grants to local businesses on Thursday.

The Commercial Property Enhancement grant can pay upwards of $25,000 or half the project cost, whichever is lower, towards certain improvements and renovations in the downtown development district. The district includes commercial areas along Newcastle, Gloucester, Norwich and Albany streets.

The owner of the brick building near Twin Oaks Restaurant is looking to open a co-op salon, said DDA Executive Director Mathew Hill. Some fixes are needed to the interior structure and electrical, and the owner also wants to make some storm upgrades to an overhead door and shutters, along with improvements to the sanitary facilities and security systems, he said.

The DDA Board voted to grant roughly $18,000.

The next request was for a $25,000 grant for a building at 1609 Gloucester St. for fire safety and security improvements, among other things. The request was from board member Michael Kaufman. Kaufman recused himself from voting on the request but said he was in talks with a physician to take over the property.

The board cast a unanimous vote to grant the request.

Kaufman recused himself from the next two requests as well — improvements to the The Wick, an office complex at 1612 Newcastle St., and The Wick 3.0, another office complex at 501 Gloucester St. His father owns both buildings.

Kaufman said both The Wick and The Wick 3.0 need a new elevator to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Replacing one is a substantial project as it requires removal of much of the internal structure and replacement with new equipment. The elevator at The Wick 3.0 was in particularly bad shape, he said, having suffered multiple breakdowns in the last few months.

New elevators use a more reliable style of lifting mechanism from that currently used in both of the buildings, he said.

The board voted unanimously to grant both requests.

Two requests for $2,000 Jump Start Grants came from Burning Reels LLC, a charter fishing business operating out of the Brunswick Landing Marina, and Newcastle Wine Merchant at 1328 Newcastle St.