The Odessa Development Corporation board approved a $30,000 grant to the Schoel Law Firm, the third such downtown façade grant awarded towards the city’s goal of redeveloping the area.
The grant for the facelift of 323 N. Grant Ave., must also be approved by the City Council before it can be awarded as a reimbursement of Schoel’s costs.
Attorney Jason Schoel said he is investing about $32,397 in addition to the grant from the city. The work includes a stucco and stonework façade with metal canopies, a new front door and windows, and a new sign.
“Our plan is to modernize it, to give it a better look, instead of having something that’s such an old building,” Schoel said, adding he had already updated the interior and long wanted to improve the outside of the building. “When the grant program came up, it was perfect.”
The building has been home to several law offices through past decades and interim director of Downtown Odessa Haley Howey said “this building has a rich downtown history.”
Last month, the ODC approved a resolution later ratified by the City Council to free up money for more façade grants.
The façade grant program already had a $250,000 cap, or enough to develop about a block per year by city officials’ estimates. The $30,000 award is the maximum amount for an individual grant, available for buildings of exceptional size or on corners like the Schoel firm.
IN OTHER BUSINESS, THE ODC:
- Approved making $15 million available over the next 20 years for funding transportation projects in Ector County with the Texas Department of Transportation and the Permian Basin MPO. This includes about a $20,736 reimbursement request of Family Dollar for falling short of a job target during the boom of 2014; paying Permian Tank and Manufacturing a prorated $244,035 to give credit for workers employed in 2015 and 2016 that fell short of the required 193 jobs; and paying Kline Oilfield Equipment about $1,693, also prorated, to give credit for workers employed in 2015 and 2016 that fell short of the required three jobs a year.
- Approved backlogged compliance audits and settlement agreements.
- Approved the draft 2016 annual audit report.
- Approved appointments to the Budget, Finance and Audit Committee.
- Approved financial and investment reports.
- Discussed updates from contracting agencies.