From The Springfield Sun:

A presentation was held on Main Street last Thursday for the awarding of the $780,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to the city of Springfield for renovations to the Robertson Building.

The building, which was built more than 100 years ago and is included on the National Register of Historic Places, was gifted to the city in 2011 and funding for the renovation of the property was recently finalized.

“We’re proud today to welcome you to what is the beginning of an exciting renovation project; one that will return this building back to its glory,” said Mayor John W. Cecconi at Thursday’s presentation.

He was joined by several other city and county officials, as well as Tony Wilder, commissioner of the Department for Local Government (DLG), and Holly Wiedemann, president of AU Associates, a managing partner with the city on the project.

Wilder said the DLG categorizes projects by “priority one, two and three,” and that the Robertson building project was priority one from the beginning. He said the most appealing part of supporting a project in Springfield was the connections the city had already established.

“The partnerships locally are so impressive,” Wilder said. “I’m from right up the road in Perryville and I was county judge in Boyle County for almost 15 years. As someone who’s been in local government, I understand that when you take on a project, or you have an idea or a dream, whether you’re in Louisville or Springfield, almost invariably, you cannot do that project on your own. You cannot do it without help and without partnering and this is one of the finest examples of partnering that I’ve seen.”

Plans for the Robertson building, which served as the home to the Robertson Store for nearly a century, include turning a portion of the building into affordable housing, while using a large part of the main floor for commercial use.

The CDBG funding is eligible for use on the renovation of housing, while $421,000 in state and federal tax historic tax credits and a $394,000 HOME Investment Partnership Program grant help cover the remaining costs. The Springfield Tourism Commission also previously paid $43,000 for roofing, as well as the project receiving contributions of $8,000 from AU Associates and $100 in general partner equity.

Wilder also said this isn’t the first time he’s seen Springfield’s Main Street take a big step forward.

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