Community Redevelopment Agency
Façade Improvement Grants
The City recognized that in its nascent stage of redevelopment it was important to develop successes for the FCRA to maintain the buy-in of stakeholders and send signals to the greater community that the FCRA was engendering positive economic change. Concurrent with that desire for buy-in and positive symbolism the FCRA Board wanted to maximize the amount of funds put “back on the street”. The development of the commercial façade improvement grant program grew out of Council, Staff, and Community discussions. The grant program is the current accounts for over fifty (50) percent of the FCRA budget. The allocation of grant funds has grown from the base budget in FY97 of $30,000, to $60,000 in FY08, to $100,000 in FY09.
Commercial Façade Improvement Grant Program
The commercial façade grant program was developed first and was initially a matching program with funds available up to $5,000 on a matching basis. Unfortunately the economy was starting to turn at this point and the feedback from the business community indicated that there was a lack of up front funds and a lack of understanding about the program. Through protracted outreach and dialogue the FCRA Board decided to modify the program to a pure grant program with no matching funds required. Granny’s Grocery, located at 1071 Lincoln Street, was the first recipient. The emphasis of this program is the enhancement of “curb appeal” through external structural renovations, signage, and landscaping.