Several buildings will receive upgrades and improvements to their visible facades

by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - This view of Wongs King Restaurant will soon change as the 2013 façade improvement projects were recently approved. Two entry upgrades and an outdoor seating area in Cascadian style will fit better with the downtowns overall appearance.Sandy’s Urban Renewal Agency board recently approved a bid to complete two façade improvement projects in the city’s ongoing urban renewal program.

The program offers grant funding to business owners willing to convert their storefronts to a “Sandy style” design. That design includes Cascadian or Oregon rustic architecture, with the use of stones or bricks or wood columns.

Changes are planned that will make the buildings’ exteriors more compatible with Cascadian architecture.

The season’s first improvements will be made to Wong’s King Restaurant, 38776 Proctor Blvd., and Prudential Real Estate, 39460 Proctor Blvd.

The lowest-price bid of the three proposals was received from the Boring firm of Full Throttle Construction, in the amount of $73,679. Other bids were received from a Clackamas firm in the amount of $148,885 and a Tigard company in the amount of $98,498. The council approved Full Throttle as the contractor.

The Prudential Real Estate building will get some new windows, wooden supports for a south-side awning, paint to match the city’s color palette and wainscot paneling on the east side below shorter windows.

The Wong’s King Restaurant will get two entryways with heavy timber and gable roof, said Planning Director Tracy Brown. The contractor also will create an outside seating area, a courtyard on the east side of the building, enclosed with a short fence.

“We’re just trying to provide a little more visibility and activity to that part of the building,” said Brown.

The courtyard, Brown said, would be enclosed with HardiePlank, which is a fiber cement material that is very sturdy and can be painted like wood.

During the city’s budgeting process, Brown learned that there was a little more urban renewal money available, so he designed another project for this year. Bids are due Aug. 1 for improvements to the Heritage Square building that includes AEC and other businesses.

That project will be mainly applying new painted siding to cover the current concrete walls, giving the building what Brown called “a little more vibrancy.”

Urban renewal grants are approved by the city’s Urban Renewal Agency board, which includes the seven city councilors as well as representatives from the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce and the Sandy Fire District.

The purposes of the façade improvement grant program are: to improve the aesthetic appearance of the exterior façades of existing buildings in the central business district; to restore the unique historic character of buildings in the district; and to encourage private investment in downtown properties.

For more information on the façade improvement projects, call Brown at 503-668-4886.

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