News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Applications Now Available for Commercial FaÃ§ade Grant Program
(October 13, 2014) – Applications for the next round of the City’s Commercial FaÃ§ade Grant program are now available online. The program was introduced seven years ago by Mayor Tom Henry and provides local businesses the opportunity to apply for matching grants to improve the exteriors of their buildings.
Applications for the grants will be accepted from November 12 through December 12, 2014; they are available online at www.fwcommunitydevelopment.org/facade or by calling 3-1-1. Questions may be directed to Aliza Tourkow, grants manager, at.
Businesses are eligible for up to a $20,000 matching grant; multi-business or multi-tenant buildings are eligible for up to $40,000. Funding comes from the Community Economic Development Income Tax, or CEDIT fund.
Since Mayor Henry kicked off the Commercial FaÃ§ade Grant program in 2008, 74 faÃ§ade improvement projects have been completed or are in the process of being completed, generating a private investment of almost $4 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 (3:1 public/private leveraging).
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 businesses to help offset the costs of faÃ§ade renovations, signage, lighting, awnings, parking improvements, decorative fencing, and other enhancements owners want to make to the exterior of their property.