Revitalized commercial space, four updated apartments in vacant Preston property

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A vacant building ‘in dire need of revitalization’ will be added to Preston’s rental stock once the new owners rehabilitate four apartments above King Street retail space.

The new owners of 632-634 King Street East have applied to the City’s Central Financial Incentive Program to help them complete their $240,000 renovations.

They are applying to the city for a $75,600 Commercial Property Improvement Grant to renovate the interior of the building, including four vacant residential units upstairs and the vacant commercial space below.

The owners also plan to revitalize the facade of the turn-of-the-century building.

The last home of a bike shop, the city says the building has been a regulatory and safety issue for years.

The vacant space was used last November to film interior and exterior scenes for the upcoming Disney+ crime series Guilty.

Council will consider approving two more applications for the city’s base improvement program this week; one to complete work on the interior of 29 Main St. in Galt and the other to revitalize the exterior of 20 Grand Ave. S.

The building at 29 Main St. is part of the Lower Main Street Heritage District Block in downtown Cambridge.

The owner has been working with the city for two years on a complete renovation of the upper exterior of the building and an interior renovation of two vacant upper floors.

The applicant has already received two applications for partial funding, including one to complete exterior facade renovations that were approved by the city’s heritage advisory committee.

The most recent request is for $70,000 through the Mixed-Use Conversion and Restoration Grants (MUCRG) program.

The entire project is valued at over $550,000.

The owner of 20 Grand Ave. S wants to replace exterior windows, upgrade two commercial signs and modernize the interior infrastructure of one of the units to allow the Kelly Greens flower and gift shop to expand.

The city says the project is the latest in a $125,000 renovation completed in the past year.

The owner applied for $14,643 from the Commercial Property Improvement Grant and the Commercial Building Restoration, Renovation and Improvement Grant for financial assistance.

Since implementing the Community Improvement Plan grants in August 2021, the city says interest in the grant programs has been strong.

The city created a $20 million fund in 2019 to fund the program, and more than $18 million remains available for eligible projects.

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