Fort Wayne seeking applications for 2018 facade grants

Laycoff’s, 3530 N. Clinton St., improved its exterior last year with the help of a $20,000 city facade grant. (Courtesy photo)

The city of Fort Wayne is accepting applications for its 2018 Commercial Façade Grant program, which was introduced 10 years ago by Mayor Tom Henry to provide local businesses the opportunity to apply for matching grants to improve the exteriors of their buildings.

Applications are available at www.fwcommunitydevelopment.org/facade and are being accepted in the Community Development office, Suite 320, Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry St. Questions may be directed to Grants Specialist Lindsey Maksim by calling 311 or emailing Lindsey.Maksim@CityofFortWayne.org. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 16.

The program makes funds available to businesses 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 exterior enhancements.

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.

Because of the program, 92 façade improvement projects have been completed or are in the process of being completed, generating a private investment of just under $5 million.

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