Yarmouth businessman Richard LeBlanc is holding his cards, or rather his paintbrush, close to his chest when it comes to divulging the colours he’s chosen for his latest acquisition.
LeBlanc, who is semi-retired but maintains his position as broker for Victory Realty, is gaining fame for his building renovations on Main Street.
The former Yum Yum Tree souvenir shop at 240 Main St. will be the fifth revitalization project for the “Bold Colour Man of Yarmouth.” The building was recently put up for sale after the Yum Yum Tree business closed.
As with the four other buildings he owns, LeBlanc will be able to access funding through the town’s façade improvement program. In the case of 240 Main, that amount will be $5,000 towards renovations.
With renovations he’s done in the past, he’s invested lots of his own money and his vision in these projects.
Once again, there’s lots to do this time around.
LeBlanc thinks the structure was built in the late 1800s.
“It’s in rough shape,” he said.
“First thing I have to do is put a whole new roof on to make it weathertight. I’ve got to strip the outside, gut the inside, and put all new clapboard, fancy mouldings, new windows, new doors and get her all up and running to complement the other buildings.”
Just down the street, the triplet buildings that LeBlanc renovated over the past two years are drawing lots of attention for their architectural elements like corbels, Juliet balconies, awnings and even gargoyles. Their jaunty colours add to their charm: 258 Main is a rich gold, with sage accents; 260 is purple, with black and gold trim; and 262 is bright red, with blue and cheery yellow accents.
Four years ago, LeBlanc signed up for the façade program for his first renovation and received $5,000 in matching funds to renovate his main office building, what is now known as the Consulate Building, at 255 Main.
LeBlanc invested tens of thousands of dollars himself in that Gothic-style revival building project. The landmark was built in 1845 and is the location for Victory Realty and Venture Mortgage, as well as his daughter’s café on the lower level – The Perky Owl.
As with his other buildings, LeBlanc plans on renting 240 Main to a business once completed. Two apartments will be located upstairs and at least one business on the ground floor.
“The other buildings, as soon as I started renovating, I was getting calls all the time and I had them rented before they were finished, so I’m hoping that’s what will happen here as well,” he said.
LeBlanc is looking forward to starting the project and thinks it will take about six months. He hopes to start in May and to finish before December. The colours and architectural features are a passion with him.
“I’ve got it all drawn out. It’s going to remain a surprise for a while yet. I like the wow surprise factor when it’s all done,” he said.
He adds he has his eye on one other building on Main Street.
History of 240 Main St.
Prior to the Yum Yum Tree souvenir shop, 240 Main St. in Yarmouth was home to the Apple-a-Day Café. Jackson’s clothing store was also located there for a period of time.
More about the Yarmouth façade program
The façade improvement program encourages commercial building owners to invest in façade renovations and storefront improvements by providing matching grants to cover a portion of renovation costs.
For more information, visit this website.