Main Street Iowa Challenge Grants Announced

Main Street Iowa Challenge Grants Announced

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) today awarded $928,000 in Main Street Iowa Challenge Grants to 13 communities around the state. The grants will benefit local improvement projects such as façade upgrades and restoration, upper floor rehabilitation, and remodeled spaces for expanding downtown businesses. The announcement was made during a ceremony held at the Des Moines Botanical Center today.

“These challenge grants have proven to be catalysts for the revitalization of Iowa’s historic main streets,” said IEDA Director Debi Durham.  “These projects represent the ongoing commitment the people of our state have to the revitalization of our historic downtown districts. Rehabilitated buildings create opportunities for new business in Iowa communities, and new businesses mean new jobs.”

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 13 projects is over $7.6 million.

“Each project must provide at least a dollar-for-dollar cash-match,” explained Main Street Iowa State Coordinator Michael Wagler.  “Overall, these projects will leverage almost nine times the state’s investment into bricks and mortar rehabilitation.”

The Challenge Grant program is funded through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature.  Since the first appropriation in 2002, approximately $5 million in state and federal funds has leveraged over $34 million in private reinvestment in 97 projects in 42 Main Street Iowa commercial districts across the state.

Photos of recipients will be available at after October 17, 2014.  For more information about the Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant program, contact Michael Wagler, State Coordinator, Main Street Iowa, at 515.725.3056 or [email protected].

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