Thursday, June 28, 2012

Downtown Commercial Rehab Program

The “2013 Downtown Commercial Rehab Program” is a new “GRANT” program that will go into effect in Jan. 2013! This is the type of program we have discussed locally for many years. Our downtown business buildings need some attention. Prior to this there has been little assistance available to take on the type of repairs that are needed for buildings that are, in come cases, over 100 years old. Repairs and maintenance of commercial buildings can be very expensive.

The purpose of this program is to foster the revitalization of downtown business districts by providing funds for the rehabilitation of privately-owned commercial buildings.  Rehabilitation will be limited to improvements of the exterior of buildings (including roofs), abatement of asbestos hazards, lead based paint issues and the correction of code violations. The grant hearing I attended in Topeka included some discussion of also including foundations since they are just as important as roofs when it comes to the health and well being of a building.

The maximum grant award will be $250,000 and at least 25% of the project must come from private funds.  Each applicant will be limited to ONE Building and the project must qualify under the slum and blight National objective.  Applications will be taken on an Open-Window basis from Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 10th, 2013.

The Grant must be applied for, on behalf of the property owner by the City, which must also declare the building as a “Blighted or Slum” building, in order for it to qualify….

The Application Rating System will be as follows:

Past efforts of Community to revitalize their downtown commercial district  = (20 Points)
Scope of work and impact of building on commercial district                      = (25 Points)
Financial capacity and business experience of property owner                    = (20 Points)
Business Plan for reuse of building                                                              = (25 points)
Readiness of owner to proceed with project                                               = (10 points)

                                                                                 TOTAL                   = 100 points