Nonprofit rallies Richmond for marquee makeover boost

Nonprofit rallies Richmond for marquee makeover boost
The Richmond Main Street Initiative wants to restore this marque at the Market Square Mall at 322 Macdonald Ave. (all photos courtesy of RMSI)

The Richmond Standard reported last month on the Richmond Main Street Initiative’s (RMSI) efforts to revitalize a historic downtown storefront and marquee at 322 Harbour Way, in which the local nonprofit was relying on online voting support to earn up to $150K in grant funding for the project.

And now Richmond Main Street has shared the news that they can obtain an additional $10K in funding via a Most-Improved aspect of the online voting process that measures any votes cast between now and the recently extended deadline of Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Voting is free and easy and can be done online, and members of the public can vote up to five times every day for their favorite Main Street Initiative.

Richmond has already been selected as a finalist for the 2017 Partners in Preservation: Main Streets program; out of 25 finalists across the nation, this project is the sole one located in the Bay Area. While voting for the overall competition continues through the end of the month, Richmond Main Street urges concerned Richmond residents to vote as often as possible before the Oct. 22 deadline.

“It was such an honor to be invited to apply and we are even more honored that our project is not only one of the 25 finalists but the only one in the Bay Area,” says Amanda Elliott, executive director for Richmond Main Street.

Downtown Richmond’s Revive the Market Marquee project proposes to vastly revamp the historic Market Square Mall façade. The 1924 structure has survived many incarnations, as it was built in 1924 and was home to Breuners furniture store from 1940s-1960s and then sat empty vacant for years until the interior was renovated to add individual units that became occupied by locally owned stores, services and community organizations.

 A new marquee will mean not only preserving this historic building, but also boosting the look of Downtown Richmond, and supporting local, minority-owned small businesses—such as Gratitude a gift shop, Tarabini’s Deli, DW & Mr. Bill’s Affordable Fashions, YaNique Hair Salon, Kim’s Nails, and Epicurean Designs.

Partners in Preservation is a program in which American Express, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, awards preservation grants to historic places across the country.

To find out more about Richmond Main Street, visit their website at