Downtown Façade Grant Moves to Competitive Process and Gets a New Name

February 11, 2013 — February 11, 2013 – Downtown South Bend Inc. (DTSB) is pleased to announce that they are now accepting applications for 2013 Exterior Enhancement Grants. This year there is a total of $25,000 in funds to award. This award may be granted to one applicant or split amongst a few.
This grant is an updated version of the popular Façade and Street Scape Improvement Grant recently used to help fund façade and streetscape enhancements to Michiana Lock and Key building, the Citizen’s bank building, and the Blarney Stone building to name a few.
The name change reinforces the focus on enhancements over maintenance and signals a move to a competitive process. In the past, this grant has operated as a rolling grant, awarded on a first-come-first –served basis. “As competition for funds increases, the grant committee felt it important to be able to evaluate projects, not just on their merits alone, but against each other and taking into consideration such criteria as the economic and overall visual impact of the project” states Aaron Perri, DTSB’s Executive Director.
Full applications are due by the firm deadline date of 5:00PM EST on Monday, April 1, 2013. Pre-applications are not required, but are encouraged as it allows applicants to receive feedback they can use to improve their full application. The pre-application deadline is 5:00PM EST on Wednesday, March 6th. Grant guidelines as well as the pre-application and full-application forms are available at:
The grant is structured as a rebate program under which grant awardees are reimbursed 50% of total amount spent on the qualifying portion of the project to up to $25,000.
The purpose of the grant is to partially fund well-designed building façade and streetscape improvements that respect the building’s history, original design integrity, and adjacent structures. By making a noticeable visual enhancement in the downtown area the common urban environment will be improved thus, revitalizing downtown.
“The idea of enhancing the pedestrian realm is an important one” says Tamara Nicholl-Smith “while one business or organization may occupy the building to which the improvements are made the benefits of façade beautification are experienced by the surrounding businesses as visitors to downtown find the improved area a more desirable place to do business.”
In addition to the Exterior Enhancement Grant, DTSB still offers the Interior Improvement Grant and the Retail Assistance Mini-Grant. Both of these grants still operate on a first-come-first-served basis, however, all applications for 2013 funds must be received no later than October 1, 2013 with work completed by no later than December 15, 2013. In the coming month DTSB will also announce the opening of the application period for the Special Events Grant, now in its second year.

Tamara Nicholl-Smith
Director, Downtown Business Recruitment
Downtown South Bend, Inc.
217 S. Michigan St.
South Bend, IN 46601
Main Number: 574.282.1110
Direct: 574.968.7287

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