On Tuesday, March 4th, Mayor Tom Henry announced, at a press conference at Coe Heating and Air Conditioning, that 13 local businesses will be awarded $303,859 in City Funding for the 2014 Commercial Façade Grants. These businesses have pledged $1.1 million in private funding to help improve their properties.
The Commercial Façade Grant program was started in 2008 by Mayor Tom Henry as a continuing commitment to help local businesses, especially in the heart of Fort Wayne, to thrive and grow. The program is particularly focused on improving storefronts and the exteriors of business properties. All applicants must commit to a dollar-for-dollar match. Since its existence, the Commercial Façade Grant Program has overseen 63 projects. "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."
On August 13, 2013 the Waynedale Business Chamber hosted Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission spokesperson Aliza Tourkow at Kingston Residence, to learn about the process of applying for the Commercial Façade Grants. Over 60 people were in attendance and eager to learn of the ways they could improve their local business. It seems that the Waynedale Business Chamber's initiative to gather local community members paid off. Of the 13 businesses awarded a Community Façade Grant for 2014, there are four Waynedale entities that will be benefitting: Coe Heating and Air Conditioning, Curly's Village Inn, The Waynedale News, and the Colony Shops of Waynedale.
We are excited and proud to welcome these Facade Grant projects to the Waynedale area. The improvements made through these projects will give a fresh facelift to the aesthetics of Waynedale and the general storefront quality. These improvements are expected to draw more customers to not only these businesses but to the Waynedale area as a whole. The ability to draw in new customers can only have positive effects on Waynedale. Along with encouraging new customers, the improvements made through the Façade Grant projects will hopefully encourage more high quality and positive businesses to move into the Waynedale community and fill vacant spaces.
Overall, we hope that these Community Façade Grant Projects will embolden other business to improve storefronts, building exteriors, and perhaps apply for Façade Grants in the future.
Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2014 Commercial Façade Grants:
• 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.