FORT WAYNE – Thirteen local businesses will receive 2014 commercial facade grants, Fort Wayne officials announced Wednesday.
This year’s awardees will receive $303,859 in city funding and have pledged to contribute just over $1.1 million in private investments to make improvements on their properties.
Our Commercial Facade Grant program helps local businesses invest in our community and provide a welcoming atmosphere for their customers, Mayor Tom Henry said. This program ensures that our commercial corridors remain vibrant so that our citizens have convenient access to goods and services they need.
Wednesday’s news conference was at Coe Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., 3300 Lower Huntington Road. The business will update the facade of its building by using modern and innovative siding material, creating new window openings, replacing old windows, providing an eye-catching customer entrance, installing new signage and more, officials said.
The city’s funding, as well as the expertise of city design staff, is going to dramatically improve the appearance of our building, bring in more customers and help beautify this stretch of Lower Huntington Road, owner Scott Coe said.
City officials introduced the Commercial Facade Grant program in 2008 to assist business owners in making improvements to the exterior of their commercial properties.
Enhancements can include such things as new siding, signage, lighting, awnings, parking improvements and decorative fencing.
The city requires applicants to provide a dollar-for-dollar match in order to receive the grant, but the $1.07 million in grants have spurred more than $2.9 million in private investment toward improvements. A total of 63 projects have been completed or are almost completed since the program was introduced, officials said.