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Insurance company receives facade grant to spruce up building

Some improvements Seaborn Insurance intends to make include the replacement of building materials, windows, doors, lights and signage

Seaborn Insurance Limited will receive a $5,000 grant from the municipality to enhance the façade of its office building, which was constructed in 1906.

The building is located at 463 Main Street and was constructed at the beginning of the 20th century as a residential property. It was converted into an office in the 1950s after Seaborn bought the building. The insurance company then constructed an addition to the building in 1997.

The original façade has not be substantially altered since its original construction, according to a report from the department of planning and development services. The outside of the building still resembles a typical residential façade. The applicant proposed in its Downtown Façade Improvement Grant application to make extensive renovations to present a more modern commercial frontage.

City council voted 6-1 on a motion during its Sept. 9 regular meeting to provide the $5,000 matching grant to the insurance company. Coun. Brian Swanson was opposed.

“They liven up that end of the street,” Coun. Crystal Froese said about the insurance company.

The original recommendation came from the municipal heritage advisory committee. The grant will be awarded upon completion of the work and upon confirmation that the requirements of the grant program have been met.

Some of the proposed improvements Seaborn Insurance intends to make include the complete reconstruction of the façade, the replacement of building materials, windows, doors, lights and signage. Cornice lines would be constructed in place of the existing sloped roof, while multiple parapets would be added to increase the look of the building.

“The proposed renovations will showcase a modern design that utilizes heritage-inspired materials,” the report to council said. “The result will be a contrast between the existing heritage resources of downtown and newer buildings.”

The estimated cost of the proposed renovations are $111,420.69. The grant policy indicates the maximum matching municipal contribution to one application is $5,000.

This could be easily reached by contributing to the cost of the brick work, which itself is expected to cost $27,483.60, the report added. The heritage design guidelines mention brick as a preferred material choice for downtown buildings to keep with the aesthetic look of the area.