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Grants Pass awards $55K for studio apartments going in Blind George's building

The grant is largely intended to fund a sprinkler system in the historic building as the owner works to create studio apartments upstairs.

Posted: Feb 20, 2020 2:41 PM
Updated: Feb 21, 2020 3:01 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The owner of the historic Blind George's building in Grants Pass will receive $55,000 in grants from the city as she works to renovate the upper floor and build studio apartments.

At Wednesday night's meeting of the City Council, officials awarded the grants to PKT Property Management. $5,000 is for the facade renovation, while $50,000 goes toward building a sprinkler system to connect a fire line from the city's water main to the front corner of the building, the City said.

Building owner Patricia Thoman told the City that she intends to make studio apartments with the 1,300 square feet that comprise the second floor of the Blind George's building at 115 and 117 SW G Street.


RELATED: Grants Pass bids a fond farewell to Blind George's this week


“As the owner of several rental properties in Grants Pass, I am very aware there is a huge need for affordable housing. With this being said, smaller units could really help fill this need,” Thoman said in her application.

According to city officials, the sprinkler system is a mandatory addition to the old building for Thoman to create the promised apartments.

Grants Pass approved the Building Renovation Loan and Grant Program in 2017 with a budget of $240,684. There is $83,000 remaining in the fund.

After a week or two of uncertainty, the iconic 98-year-old Blind George's Newsstand in the lower floor of the building closed its doors permanently last month.

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