Sybaris’s OER Depot Project Selected to Move Forward In Statewide Grant Competition

Sybaris’s OER Depot Project Selected to Move Forward In Statewide Grant Competition
February 11, 2022 Lise Grato

The Albany Downtown Association is excited to announce that Sybaris Bistro was selected as our partner to apply for the 2022 Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant (OMSRG).

The project will be saving a deteriorating historic landmark bringing Oregon Electric Railway Depot back to its former glory as a gateway to the heart of Downtown Albany.

Plans will include stabilizing brick walls, making roof repairs and addressing other key issues. An important upgrade is making the building handicap accessible.

Beyond the grant, the overall vision includes preserving the trees, landscaping the blighted corner, and creating an outside dining space. This project will also create new jobs through expanded seating in the new restaurant space.

Matt and Janel Bennett, Sybaris’ owners, will now spend the next four weeks working with the ADA grant team to prepare Albany’s Oregon Heritage OMSRG application.

In 2019, the last time this grant was offered, only 63% of the projects submitted from across Oregon were awarded.  Albany Downtown Association hopes this project will be among the chosen for 2022.

“There was an excellent variety of very worthy projects submitted,” said Lise Grato, ADA’s Executive Director. “We wish we could partner with each of them for this grant, but Albany can only select one project to submit for statewide consideration.”

There are other grants available and ADA will work with Downtown building owners to create competitive applications for those later this spring.

The selection committee was comprised of ADA board members, committee members and community partners.

“ A extremely hard decision was made over the course of three lengthy meetings and dozens of additional hours of independent research and study by committee members,” added Grato.

The Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant is a competitive grant offered by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for up to $200,000 in matching funds for downtown revitalization efforts in communities participating in the Oregon Main Street Network such as Historic Downtown Albany.

Albany Downtown Association, celebrating its 40th year,  is a “Performing Main Street” level community one of just 8 statewide to maintain this status. There are a total of 66 member Main Streets statewide and 1200 across the country.