BRAP funds 10 downtown projects

Downtown New Castle may be looking a little different thanks to the Building Renovation Assistance Program (BRAP). Local businesses are painting, renovating, and upgrading with funds from BRAP.

BRAP is a program that was designed to help downtown New Castle businesses renovate their buildings to better downtown. BRAP was created by New Castle Main Street, the New Castle Redevelopment Corporation (RDC) and the New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

New Castle Main Street is a nonprofit organization that serves as the community development corporation. The organization was appointed by the RDC to manage and implement the Building Assistance Renovation Program (BRAP).

New Castle Main Street’s mission is to act as a catalyst to develop and sustain a unique and thriving downtown for residents, business merchants, property owners and visitors so that the communities of New Castle and Henry County flourish.”

The RDC approved a $400,000 allocation to the program from March 1 of this year to Feb. 28, 2023.

Downtown businesses have officially been approved for BRAP and have started renovating.

The old Edward’s Jewelers building at 1334 Broad Street was awarded $11,080 for their $27,700 project. They are planning to re-tuck loose bricks and fix cracks in the brick work on the building, fix the back area of their room, repair their chimney, and repair the trim on the back door. They anticipate creating around 1.5 jobs and bringing one new business.

The Artistry Annex at 218 South 15th Street was awarded $15,247.85 to put towards re-roofing the building and painting the outside of the building white. The entire project has a total cost of $38,119.62.

Primo Restaurant at 1326 Broad Street received $17,009.53 that will go towards energy efficiency improvements, safety improvements, a new roof, new gutters and downspouts, lighting, and signage. All of the renovations are projected to cost $46,720.49.

The Old Brammer Furniture Building at 233 South Main Street was rewarded $19,101.24 for a new roof, painting, caulking, a new awning, and masonry. The project is expected to cost $125,000. They are projecting that this will create one job and bring one new business to the area.

F.C. Tuckers was approved for two projects. Both projects will be happening at 1122 Broad Street. The first project was awarded $44,100 to go towards second floor living spaces. This will include adding insulation, drywall, water, electricity, gas, HVAC, lighting, and flooring. The total project cost is expected to be $135,730.

The second project was awarded $55,900 to use for a white box for tenants to prevent large start-up costs, insulation, drywall, water, electricity, and gas. The project plans to create one job and bring one business downtown. The entire project will cost around $127,550.

The Courier-Times Building at 201 South 14th Street was awarded $57,500 that will go towards a basement exit, outside paint, signs for tenants, landscaping updates, design work, the sprinkler system, fire suppression, the remodel of The Press Coffee Shop, HVAC, electrical modernization, and installing an alarm system. They plan to create 50 jobs and bring two businesses to downtown New Castle. The entire project has a projected cost of $155,613.35.

The Castle Theater at 221 South Main Street was awarded $74,667.92 for flooring and seating replacement, interior door paint, curtains, sound, HVAC, and equipment including a projector and marquee. It is planned to be a $186,669.79 project.

The Old Smith Jewelers Building at 1305-1308 Broad Street was awarded $78,643 for brick work, tuckpointing, and masonry repair. The entire project has a total cost of $236,609.25. They plan to bring one new business to the area.

Town Tavern at 1214 Broad Street plans on fixing the roof, painting the front of the building, installing new windows and doors. They were awarded $4,225.84 to go towards their $80,164 project.

The Old Bank Drive Thru at 128 North 14th Street was awarded $12,406.42 to help fund their $32,271.23 project. The building will be renovated to be used as a coffee, food, and beverage drive thru. They will be retrofitting existing signs and installing a new menu board.

No more than 40 percent of the building renovation project should be supplied with BRAP funds.

Historic preservation, job creation/retention and business diversity were considered throughout the deciding process.

The BRAP contribution will be structured as a forgivable loan with all appropriate legal documentation and the filing of liens.

– Story by Haley Segarra Torres (HTorres@TheCourierTimes.comof The Courier-Times. Read more local stories at