Applications for the City’s 2016 Commercial Façade Grant program are now available. I introduced the program eight years ago to provide local businesses the opportunity to apply for matching grants to improve the exteriors of their buildings.
The program makes funds available to businesses in the core of the City in areas designated as Economic Development Target Areas, or EDTAs. Business corridors along Wells, State, Calhoun and Taylor streets, as well as Broadway, are all located in EDTAs. Through the program, grants are made to business and property owners to help offset the costs of façade renovations, signage, lighting, awnings, parking improvements, decorative fencing, and other enhancements owners want to make to the exterior of their property. A number of Waynedale businesses have participated in this great program.
Buildings with a single business are eligible for up to a $20,000 matching grant; buildings or sites with multiple businesses are eligible for up to $40,000. Funding comes from the Community Economic Development Income Tax, or CEDIT fund.
Since 2008, 82 façade improvement projects have been completed or are in the process of being completed, generating a private investment of nearly $4.6 million. The City requires applicants to provide dollar-for-dollar matching funds in order to receive the grant, but the program has been so successful that the City has leveraged $3 in private funds to every $1 of public funds.
Applications for the grants will be accepted from November 12-December 11. Applications are available at www.fwcommunitydevelopment.org/facade .
Questions may be directed to 311.
I also wanted to make you aware of a neat opportunity. Riverfront Fort Wayne has launched a selfie scavenger hunt that encourages residents to get out and explore the downtown riverfront area.
In order to take part, residents need to hunt objects (architectural features, signs, plaques, sculptures, etc.) that are located in the Riverfront Fort Wayne study area. Then, participants must take a selfie with at least ten of the objects and post them to their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages using the hashtag RiverfrontFW.
Full instructions and photos of the objects are online at www.RiverfrontFW.org/scavenger.
You have until November 15 to submit your selfies and qualify to enter a drawing for one of three $50 gift cards to Club Soda, Don Hall’s Old Gas House, or Don Chava’s Mexican Grill.
Riverfront Fort Wayne hosts regular programs and events as part of our three-part effort to build support for revitalizing the riverfront. Programming, maintenance and development are all part of the plans to create a downtown riverfront that is a regional destination and source of pride for all of northeast Indiana.
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