One man is at odds with the DDA over Facade Improvement Grant
A concrete planter on 1819 warren is considered a defining feature on a mid-century modern building but it is giving one Cheyenne businessman an unpleasant experience with the Downtown Development Authority.
"I want my staff I want my clients everybody else to you know be able to see in and out of that."
Anthony Ortiz applied for a Façade Improvement Grant through the DDA back in March to remove the brick veneer on the front of his building. On April second Ortiz learned his application was denied with the explanation his project didn't fit within guidelines and he would be taking away from the historical significance of the building.
"I started doing a lot of research on my own they said you know its of historic value we don’t want to mess anything up with that and so I myself went to the library I checked the internet looked at everything I could to see what historical value that building had there’s none anywhere."
On April 12th a City historic Preservation Board Officer contacted Ortiz to discuss the outcome of his application. When Ortiz explained he only wanted to remove 22% of the brick in front of the building, his application was resubmitted and he was accepted into the FIP program.
"I'm just trying to take out that brick facade and put in some glass windows."
On May 9th Ortiz submitted his final presentation for the FIP grant where he needed an architects report, which he paid $3,500 for out of pocket. The DDA did offer free Architectural Design Service, but Ortiz said there wasn't an Architect ready through the DDA in time for his application, Two days later he received an email denying his application, the email stated "It is critical the Secretary of Interior's Standards are followed for the program"
Executive director of the DDA Vicki Dugger said "Because our program works with the secretary of interior 's standards for historic preservation that was not an applicable project to qualify for grant funds." Adding "One of the defining features of that mid-century modern building which is one of the best examples in downtown is the brick planter wall that's in front of the whole front of the building."
The DDA says Ortiz can do whatever he wants to the building and Ortiz plans too, he just wanted to use the grant the DDA has available for businesses in the downtown area to develop downtown Cheyenne.
"That's what DDA means to me it's not downtown historic authority its downtown development authority that’s all I’m trying to do is develop down here."
Vicki Dugger stated Ortiz' grant wasn't the only one denied and about four buildings in downtown did get approved for the grant.