The Alamo City is slowly revitalizing some of its neighborhoods through an improvement program. It's called operation facelift and slowly, but surely, once abandoned buildings are being restored to its former glory.
The Jenssen Gallery on the west side had a grand re-opening. The 1930's once abandoned art deco building now has several improvements which include a new metal awning, windows and a show room.
The owner of the gallery, Dale Jenssen, said, “it was time to have a showroom where we could have our work and it looks nice.”
The improvements were possible thanks to the city's Operation Facelift and the Westside Development Corporation. City officials hope more people like Jennsen and her husband will apply for the grants.
Operation Facelift is a facade improvement program. Since it began in 1998, 409 buildings has been completed totaling more than $124,000,000 in matching funds.
Now the city is looking for applicants from the So-Flo arts district on South Flores, the Cincinnati revitalization corridor and the Iowa revitalization corridor.
John Dugan, Director of Planning and Community Development for the city, said doing these building improvements help people see their older neighborhoods come back to life.
"To begin to revitalize those neighborhoods and provide other property owners to rehab their buildings and really upgrade and pull up their neighborhoods by their boot straps,” said Dugan.
With more commercial buildings getting a face lift like the Jenssen Gallery, city officials believe these small improvements will make a big impact on those neighborhoods.
Tenants and property owners in the target areas are encouraged to apply for matching funds up to $5,000 by September 1st. For additional information on this program, call 210-207-4686 or go to www.sanantonio.gov/planning.