Grant Program Helps Spruce Up Hail Building, Downtown Batesville

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BATESVILLE – November 9, 2016 – The historic Hail Building, at 231 East Main Street in downtown Batesville, recently got a facelift with assistance from a $5,000 grant from the Citizens Bank Impact Loan and Grant Program.

The building, home to Elizabeth’s Restaurant & Catering, needed its huge front windows to be repaired and repainted; plus, property owner Ron Lewallen decided to add a spiffy awning to improve the building’s appeal.

“When we decided to address the window project, (restaurant owner) Diane White approached me about adding an awning.  About that same time, we heard about the Citizens Bank Impact Loan and Grant Program,” Lewallen said.  “We looked into it and decided the grant program would be a good way to help pay for what we needed to do.  It was a pretty simple application process.”

Citizens Bank earlier this year offered $10 million in low-interest rate loans and $100,000 in grant funds to stimulate the downtown economy and promote historic downtown redevelopment.  The Batesville Downtown Foundation evaluated all of the grant applications.

The Hail Building was constructed in 1908 by S.A. Hail as a single-story dry goods store, according to a plaque installed near its front entrance.  A second story was added in 1914, followed by a third story and brick front in 1925.  Hail Dry Goods closed in 1979, after which the building served as a hardware store and a series of restaurants. 

Elizabeth’s has been operating on the first floor of the building since 2000, following previous ventures Don Quixote’s and Café Indigo.

Diane White is encouraged by all of the recent activity that is helping to rejuvenate downtown Batesville.  “When I’m out, people tell me that things are really popping down there,” she said.  “I’m thankful for all of the progress – even the new restaurants that have opened recently.  It is nothing but good for downtown, and it helps everyone.”

The Citizens Bank Impact Loan and Grant program have been “a very positive show of support for Main Street,” Lewallen said.  “Significant investments are being made in historic downtown Batesville.”

At least two additional retail buildings are currently in the process of being refurbished and will open soon in the downtown area.

“There are still plenty of other opportunities, too,” Lewallen said.  “Hopefully some other folks will step up and take advantage.”

Additional information about the Citizens Bank Impact Loans and Grants program is available by contacting either Jerrod Sandefur for commercial loans (870-698-6313) or Renee Long for consumer loans (870-698-9678).



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