Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Façade Grants Refresh Provo’s Downtown


Council Member Laura Cabanilla recently shared an update with Neighborhood Chairs to show how Federal CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds have helped improve Provo’s Downtown area.
Before and after photos of Dave’s Bernina, a local business which has taken advantage of the grant program

Cabanilla showed how grant monies have been employed to the façades of local businesses, which has given a lift to Provo’s downtown image. Cabanilla also shared photos demonstrating the dramatic differences the funds have helped achieve. Some of the businesses which participated in the program and were mentioned by Cabanilla include: Dave’s Bernina, Rice King, Gianni International, City Limits, Station 22, and SORA.

For years the Redevelopment Agency of Provo City has offered matching fund grants to businesses to help them maintain the appearance of their exteriors. In 2011, as part of an effort to complement the construction and opening of the Utah Valley Convention Center in 2012, the Council modified the grant program to make it more attractive to a larger number of businesses. Those businesses, particularly around Center Street, were aided by the Council’s repurposing of CDBG funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. One of the major changes implemented by the Council was to change the amount of fund matching, to incentivize businesses to participate in the program. Previously, the Redevelopment Agency’s program matched funds at a one-to-one ratio; the Council modified the allocation of funds to a three-to-one ratio.
Another participant in the program, Rice King
Cabanilla said the downtown area continues its growth, and has a bright future thanks in part to the reconstruction of the Provo Tabernacle into an LDS temple, the Utah Valley Convention Center, the Covey Center for the Arts as well as new construction by Nuskin.

Another participant in the program, Station 22

Another participant in the program, SORA