Block Grants Help Cities With Downtown Rehabilitation

Beloit, Concordia and Junction City will share funds for downtown improvement

Published on: May 16, 2013

Beloit, Concordia and Junction City will share a total of $662,193 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds from the Kansas Department of Commerce for downtown commercial rehabilitation projects. The grant funds will be matched with $341,703 of private investment.

The CDBG program is designed to help communities provide adequate and affordable housing, suitable living environments and expanding economic opportunities, particularly for persons of low and moderate income. The Business and Community Development Division of the Department administers the CDBG Program in the non-metropolitan areas of the state.

While the program overall has been around for a long time, the Downtown Commercial Rehabilitation is a new initiative this year, designed to help communities to improve the quality of their downtown districts by assisting private property owners with the rehabilitation of blighted buildings.

The Downtown Commercial Rehabilitation is a new initiative this year, designed to help communities to improve the quality of their downtown districts by assisting private property owners with the rehabilitation of blighted buildings.
The Downtown Commercial Rehabilitation is a new initiative this year, designed to help communities to improve the quality of their downtown districts by assisting private property owners with the rehabilitation of blighted buildings.

Grants go toward historic buildings

The grants go to key buildings that have historic or architectural significance so owners to improve them. A secondary benefit comes from the increased commerce generated improvements in the structures. Improvements in one building in a commercial district also frequently drives adjacent property owners to improve their buildings, too.

The city of Beloit requested $162,693 to stabilize and repair a retail building constructed in the 1890s. The owners will invest $58,000 of private funds. Work elements will include foundation improvements, stabilization of exterior walls and upgrading electrical wiring to comply with local code standards. The building will house an appliance store and programming offices for a website developer.

The city of Concordia requested $249,500 to stabilize and repair a building constructed in 1888 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The funds will be matched with $83,703 of private funds. The work will include tuck pointing the walls, window restoration, exterior painting, restoring iron steps and replacing electrical wiring. The building will house an antique store and an art studio.

The city of Junction City requested $250,000 to repair a retail building constructed in the late 1880s located in the downtown historic district. The funds will be matched with $200,000 of private funds. Work elements will include walls, floors, asbestos and mold removal, plumbing and electrical work. An existing home furnishings store, which is located in an adjacent building, will expand into this space. Without this grant, the building would have to be demolished by the city.

For more information, contact Terry Marlin in the Business and Community Development Division of the Kansas Department of Commerce at 785-296-4703, or e-mail tmarlin@kansascommerce.com.