A grant program designed to help small businesses achieve goals will help clad historic architecture in storm windows reflective of the early 1900s and will help furnish space for celebrations.
Superior’s Plan Commission approved grants for projects planned by Winter Street LLC and the World of Wheels Skate Center.
Steve Knauss and Deb Emery own the holding company that leases the historic Soo Line Railroad Depot to their restaurant and brewery, Thirsty Pagan. They're planning to install 40 exterior storm windows designed to maintain this historic look of the building.
“The reason we’re doing this storm window project is all the woodwork that is around the windows is in excellent condition because of the overhang … so we don’t need to replace the windows,” Knauss said. “The problem is they still have air infiltration.”
Working with Old World Windows, Knauss said the storm windows that will be placed at the depot will be constructed from old-growth Douglas fir to maintain their historic appearance.
“It will be created so it looks like it is supposed to be there,” Knauss said. “It will also be fitted correctly so there won’t be any air infiltration.”
Maintaining the historic look of the building is important, Knauss said of the railroad depot constructed in 1908.
The Commission approved a grant of $11,280 toward the estimated $24,000 project.
Steve Grapentine, owner of the World of Wheels, expanded the skate center last year. He added a 30-foot by 60-foot room on the west side of the building at 1218 Oakes Avenue to create space for birthday parties at the Twin Ports' only roller rink.
Planning for the project was well underway when the city created the Small Business Grant Program, making the addition ineligible for grant funding.
“These are some of the items that have been added and were not part of it,” said Jason Serck, economic development, port and planning director. “Steve and I talked and thought it would be a good idea for him to ask for money for some of these smaller items.”
The $8,752.36 grant approved by the Plan Commission will help pay for a mural, tables, rubber and carpet flooring and installation, which is projected to cost $17,503.
“If you’ve ever done a birthday party, you know how tight it was,” Grapentine said. “It was pretty cramped. This will make it more comfortable for customers.”
The City Council will consider the grant applications when it meets Wednesday, Feb. 19.