March 5, 2014 - Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry today announced that 13 local businesses will receive 2014 Commercial Façade Grants. This year's awardees will receive $303,859 in City funding and have pledged to contribute just over $1.1 million in private investment to make improvements on their properties.

“Our Commercial Façade Grant program helps local businesses invest in our community and provide a welcoming atmosphere for their customers,” said Mayor Henry. “This program ensures that our commercial corridors remain vibrant so that our citizens have convenient access to goods and services they need.”

Today’s news conference was held at Coe Heating & Air Conditioning, 3300 Lower Huntington Rd. The business will update the façade 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.

“I’m pleased to accept this grant award,” said Scott Coe, owner of Coe Heating & Air Conditioning. “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.”

Mayor Henry introduced the Commercial Façade Grant program in 2008 as part of his ongoing commitment to help local businesses thrive and expand, particularly in the heart of the City. The program is designed to assist business owners in making improvements to the exterior of their commercial properties. Enhancements can include new siding, architectural features, signage, lighting, awnings, parking improvements, decorative fencing and more.

The City requires applicants to provide a dollar-for-dollar match in order to receive the grant. The program has been so successful that from 2009-2013, the City awarded $1.07 million in grant funding, which leveraged more than $2.9 million of private investment toward improvements. A total of 63 projects have been completed or are almost completed since the program was introduced.

The program has helped property owners revitalize building exteriors on Wells Street, Main Street, Calhoun Street, Taylor Street, Broadway and other heavily traveled corridors throughout the heart of the City. In order to be eligible for a façade grant, a business must be located within one of the City’s Economic Development Target Areas, which are commercial corridors that are more challenging to redevelop because of the age of the buildings.

In addition to the Coe Heating & Air Conditioning project, the other 2014 façade grant recipients are:

*The 1925 S. Calhoun Building, 1925 & 1927 S. Calhoun St.

*The 2228 S. Calhoun Building, 2228 S. Calhoun St.

*Anthony Wayne Village Shopping Center, 4301-4355 S. Anthony Blvd.

*ARCH’s 520 Tennessee Building, 520 Tennessee Ave.

*Broadway Joe’s, 2514 Broadway

*Colony Shops of Waynedale, 6415-6441 Bluffton Road

*Curly’s Village Inn, 4205 Bluffton Rd.

*“New to You” Building, 1542 Sherman Blvd.  

*Rialto Theater, 2614 S. Calhoun St.

*Anthony Medical Building, 5717 S. Anthony Blvd.

*TekVenture (former Allen County Sweeper Company), 1800 Broadway

*Waynedale News Building, 2505 Lower Huntington Rd.