Facade grants aid Congress Street properties in Portland

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PORTLAND — Four Congress Street properties will share nearly $24,000 in grants to improve their facades and exterior features.

The Facade Improvement Program grants announced Jan. 6 include $6,000 for the State Theater to restore the marquee at 609 Congress St. Other grants are going to 785 Congress St., near Deering Avenue, at a building that was formerly a convenience store; 612 Congress St., the former Anna’s Used Furniture, and 578 Congress St., the site of Strange Maine, a store that buys and sells used books, games and CDs.

The grants match up to 50 percent of design and construction costs for projects and come from federally funded Community Development Block Grants.