The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) today awarded $933,300 in Main Street Iowa Challenge Grants to 14 communities around the state. The grants will benefit local improvement projects such as façade upgrades and restoration, upper floor rehabilitation, building stabilization and repairs and remodeled spaces for expanding downtown businesses. The announcements were made during a ceremony held at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.
“The Main Street Iowa Challenge grants have proven to be catalysts for the revitalization of Iowa’s historic main streets,” said IEDA Director Debi Durham. “These projects demonstrate the ongoing financial commitment the people of our state – both our elected officials and private citizens – have made to the revitalization of our historic downtown districts. Rehabilitated downtown buildings create opportunities for new business and new residences in the core of our communities.”
The grants are administered through IEDA’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa programs. The funding will be distributed in the form of matching grants to the selected Main Street programs. The estimated total project cost of the 14 bricks and mortar projects is over $2.7 million.
“Each project must provide at least a dollar-for-dollar cash-match. In total, these projects will leverage three times the state’s investment into bricks and mortar rehabilitation. These projects will also have a significant economic impact within each district and have a direct impact on each community’s downtown revitalization efforts,” explained Main Street Iowa State Coordinator Michael Wagler.
The Challenge Grant program is funded through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature. Since the first appropriation in 2002 through 2016, approximately $6.8 million in state and federal funds have leveraged over $45 million of private reinvestment. Over the life of the program, 138 projects in 49 Main Street Iowa commercial districts across the state have received funding.
The Oskaloosa Area Chamber and Development Group was included on the list of 14 communities to be honored. Specifically, the Dixon Block Apartment on 111 High Avenue East. The IEDA Grant received totals to $75,000. That grant along with $137,500 matched amount from Iowa Economic Development means the OACDG receives $212,500.
The Chariton Area Chamber and Main Street was also recognized for the Exchange Block Restoration. The restoration received $75,000 from IEDA Grant which was matched by $80,000 for a total of $155,000.
Ottumwa Main Street received theirs for 105-107 East Main Street Façade improvements. The IEDA Grant was marked at $47,800 with an Iowa Economic Development match of $47,800 for a total of $95,600.
Photos of recipients will be available at iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/MainStreetIowa after November 20, 2017. For more information about the Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant program, contact Michael Wagler, State Coordinator, Main Street Iowa, at 515.348.6184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.