Three Fourth Street buildings owned by Jim Delhart are receiving façade makeovers, a sign that the city’s recent downtown rehabilitation is spurring private investment to dress up the downtown.
On Friday a contractor was ripping off the face of the home of a Hispanic church, Iglesia Santuario De Jesucristo, and a vacant store at the southern end of Fourth Street that is earmarked for a coffee shop. One of the spaces receiving a facelift at 3026 Fourth Street is used by a recovery group named Grupo Liberacion. The work will also be adding a new face to Selfish Salon, which has been open in a modeled space since December.
An architectural rendering shows that the facades will use a earth-toned surface mixture of stucco, tiles and stone veneer with new columns, foam pop-outs, sun louvers and awnings. The work should be complete in six weeks, a contractor on the site noted.
Delhart is financing the $165,000 project himself. The project was in the works before his wife, JoAnn Delhart, passed away in December. He said part of the delay has been due to her passing and because local contractors have been too busy with other jobs.
The city had offered downtown building owners a low-interest loan assistance program to kick start façade improvements. The program was abandoned when it became apparent to owners that any work had to fall under prevailing wage rates – because city money was involved – which would have made façade projects more expensive.
“It’ll be beautiful. It’s just for the community. I mean, what good is it to me to put on a storefront?”Jim Delhart
“It’ll be beautiful,” said Delhart. “It’s just for the community. I mean, what good is it to me to put on a storefront? Most buildings are rented by the square foot anyway.”
“We’ve known that he’s wanted to do something for some time but he had to get the building permits and the architecture and that took a while to get the design that he wanted but now he’s ready to go,” said Tom Westbrook, director of Community Development for the city of Ceres.
Delhart, 83, said he has been selective about who rents his buildings. He owns the small former Vincent house next to Steps Dance Arts Center and said he has turned it down for a massage parlor, smoke shop and tattoo parlor.
“When I first came to Ceres there was another bar down there and I bought them out and closed them out. I try to keep a standard of what I have.”
Delhart recently reroofed the historic house next to his furniture shop that was once the Ceres Police Station and most recently was Sole Saver Shoe Repair. It will likely be occupied by a thrift store, he said.
He indicated he will continue to use the former Bank of Ceres building at the southeast corner of Fourth and Lawrence streets as a warehouse for the mattresses he sells at his furniture store across the street.
Elsewhere in downtown, work is expected to take place to renovate the interior and exterior of the former DeBoard & Govett chiropractic office at 2943 Fourth Street which farther back in the 1960s served as the Ceres Library. The building is owned by Sam Khacho.