HUD awards Bartlesville $500,000 ‘Main Street’ grant

Grant helps expand redevelopment efforts in downtown Bartlesville

 

Methodist Church downtownThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that the Bartlesville Redevelopment Trust Authority will receive a $500,000 grant to redevelop the abandoned downtown Methodist Church and build additional affordable housing units targeted to low-income residents, according to information issued by HUD this week.

The grant is funded through HUD’s HOPE VI Main Street Program.

“I’m very excited to hear that we’ve been selected to receive another HOPE Main Street Grant,” said City of Bartlesville Grants Administrator Nancy Warring, who worked on the grant application on behalf of the City. “This is a great opportunity to put another prominent downtown building back into use.”

The City of Bartlesville, in partnership with the Bartlesville Redevelopment Trust Authority, Main Street Bartlesville, Washington County Affordable Housing Coalition and Ross Group/New Leaf Development, will use the funding to assist in the reconfiguration of a 90-year-old abandoned church campus into a mixed-use development that will include affordable housing, market rate housing, retail space and hospitality space.

The Main Street site will consist of four affordable housing units as a part of an overall 32 unit residential apartment development.

This is the second Main Street grant for Bartlesville. In 2015 the city received a grant to redevelop the former Washington County Memorial Hospital and build additional affordable housing — a project on which Warring also assisted.

“This is an excellent example of public and private partnership and coordination on a project,” she said, noting the hard work several agencies put into securing the grants.

“A lot of information has to be pulled together for a major grant application like this,” she said.

The church redevelopment is part of a new urbanism approach to downtown revitalization promoting walkable neighborhoods with efficient transportation options and access to open space, according to HUD. Additionally, residents will have amenities that include a full-service grocery store and pharmacy, day care facilities, health-care clinic, a university, performing arts venues, a public library, a variety of churches, banks, restaurants, and a public park with a children’s amusement park and play area.

“In communities like Bartlesville, a grant like this can not only provide much-needed affordable housing, but also a boost of economic activity,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “Walkable neighborhoods, with access to jobs and groceries, are sustainable neighborhoods where folks can succeed. HUD is proud to be a partner in rebuilding an area like Bartlesville, in need.”

The Main Street program seeks to rejuvenate older, downtown business districts while retaining the area’s traditional and historic character by providing grants to smaller communities for the development of affordable housing. Such communities must have an ongoing Main Street revitalization effort. Under Main Street, obsolete commercial offices or buildings can be reconfigured into rent producing affordable housing.