The City’s Economic Development Advisory Group (EDAG) recently approved nine additional grants totaling $36,465 to go toward building façade improvements in the 500-600 blocks of Commercial Street. Those awards through the second round of the City’s Façade Grant Program are expected to leverage over $200,000 worth of private investment.
City Commissioners voted unanimously to create the Façade Grant Program earlier this year as a way to incentivize improvements to buildings that had been partially obscured by the concrete canopies in the 500-600 blocks of Commercial Street for nearly six decades. In round one of the program, EDAG approved nine grants totaling $22,925, which is expected to leverage over $100,000 worth of private investment.
In total, just under $60,000 in grant funds have been awarded by EDAG and the City Commission to 19 properties in the 500-600 blocks of Commercial. Just under $400,000 worth of upcoming façade improvement work were reported by applicants and some of those projects are already underway.
“The City is intentionally focused on investing in our downtown district and we’re pleased to see nearly $400,000 worth of investment going into the building facades in the 500-600 blocks of Commercial Street,” said Interim City Manager Justin Pregont. “We’re optimistic that more investment will follow behind those facades in the months and years to come.”