Quimby Village area to get makeover as part of Façade Grant program

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News release from the City of Fort Wayne:

Quimby Village area to get makeover as part of Façade Grant program
Nine other businesses receive grants

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry today announced that 10 local businesses will receive 2013 Commercial Façade Grants, including one which will enhance the Quimby Village area. This year’s façade grant awardees will receive $202,691 in City funding and have pledged to contribute nearly $850,000 in private investment to make improvements on their properties.

“Our Commercial Façade Grant program is making a dramatic impact on the appearance of commercial corridors in the heart of our city,” Mayor Henry said at a news conference at the Quimby Village site along Bluffton Road. “This program has provided the boost our local business owners have needed to improve the appearance of their buildings and provide a more welcoming atmosphere for customers.”

The Quimby Village/Clyde Theater Revitalization Project, located at 1808-1810 Bluffton Rd., will receive a $40,000 Façade Grant. The owner, Rick Kinney of Even Keel Event Productions, will match the grant with approximately $150,000 in improvements. Kinney plans to open a multifunctional performing arts center, art gallery and recording studio. Retail and office space will also be available, as well as space for a restaurant.

The City’s Façade Grant will pay for replacing windows, doors and soffits, updating exterior lighting, removing graffiti, replacing sidewalks at the front and east side of the building and repairing the concrete exterior. Last year, the City awarded Kinney brownfield grants to investigate and remediate all asbestos and lead paint on the property.

“I can’t say enough about the City’s Façade Grant and Brownfield programs,” said Kinney. “The expertise and funding is giving me the jump start I need to get this project going and turn Quimby Village and the Clyde Theater into something really special.”

Mayor Henry introduced the Commercial Façade Grant program in 2008 as part of his ongoing commitment to help local businesses thrive and expand, particularly in the heart of the city. The program is designed to assist business owners in making improvements to the exterior of their commercial properties. Enhancements can include signage, lighting, awnings, parking improvements, decorative fencing and more.

The City requires applicants to provide a dollar-for-dollar match in order to receive the grant. The program has been so successful that from 2009 to 2012, the City awarded $939,092 in grant funding, which leveraged more than $2.6 million of private investment toward improvements. A total of 55 projects have been completed since the program was introduced.

The program has helped property owners revitalize building exteriors on Wells Street, Main Street, Calhoun Street, Taylor Street, Broadway and other heavily traveled corridors throughout the City. In order to be eligible for a façade grant, a business must be located within one of the City’s Economic Development Target Areas, which are commercial corridors that are more challenging to redevelop because of the age of the buildings.

In addition to the Quimby Village Revitalization Project, the other 2013 façade grant recipients are:

  • Billy’s Dug Out, 3401 Fairfield Ave.
  • Born Again Quilts, 4005 S. Wayne Ave.
  • Brewers’ Art Supply, 1425 Wells St.
  • Fairfield Shops, 2002-2014 Fairfield Ave.
  • Java Bean, 2715-2717 Broadway
  • North Anthony Center, 3322-3528 N. Anthony Blvd.
  • Oyster Bar, 1830 S. Calhoun St.
  • Red Wood Inn, 1432-1436 W. Main St.
  • 2020 Broadway Building, 2020 Broadway

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