BRADENTON -- When Crystal Golm saw the quaint house on 13th Street with a “For Lease” sign out front just a block from the riverfront, she got excited.
“I really wanted a place downtown,” says the real estate attorney and owner of Golm Law Group. She was renting an office condo at 4900 Manatee Ave. but felt the draw of being a part of downtown Bradenton.
She ended up buying the 1880s home in December 2010 for $133,500 and began renovating the inside of the 2,400-square-foot building and apartment in the rear.
Golm applied for a Downtown Development Authority facade grant to help with sprucing up the outside. In June, the DDA approved the matching grant from its $30,000 fund to provide businesses with monies to make outside appearance changes.
The tax increment financing helps business owners make permanent improvements to their properties, ones that “smack you on the end of your nose when you drive down the street,” said Karen Kyser, program administrator for the DDA.
The goal is to revitalize downtown Bradenton and its surrounding neighborhoods.
Golm spent about $20,000 on interior changes and another $20,000 on painting, landscaping and pavers for the outside.
Once final receipts are turned in, Golm expects she’ll get about $6,000 from the city. Replacing the roof will be her next project.
Despite the inevitable headaches a property owner faces, Golm is glad she invested in the building.
“It is a great space for my employees and me and it has garnered us positive attention,” she said. “It adds to the business, having our own space.”