Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry says several businesses will be able to improve their properties thanks to the city's annual Fa?ade Grant Program. Recipients including Doolittle Electric, Belmont Beverage and Trouble Brewing will share more than $200,000.

March 24, 2015

News Release

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry today announced that eight local businesses will receive 2015 Commercial Fa?ade Grants to improve their properties. This year's awardees will receive approximately $218,000 in City funding and have pledged to contribute just over $685,000 in private investment to do everything from installing new windows to creating more attractive roof lines.

“This program is good for local businesses and neighborhoods,” said Mayor Henry. “It helps businesses improve their properties and attract customers, while at the same time strengthening commercial corridors in the heart of our community.”

Today’s news conference was held at Doolittle Electric, 2046 S. Lafayette St. Dave and Candace Doolittle purchased the building eight years ago and are working to renovate it inside and out while expanding their business. In addition to Doolittle Electric, the building will house a photography studio and property management business. The fa?ade grant will help Doolittle pay for new windows, doors, lighting, signage and awnings. (See attached rendering of changes to the fa?ade.)

“I believe dilapidated buildings in an area can discourage people from venturing into an uncharted territory,” said Dave Doolittle, co-owner of the property. “Through Mayor Henry's grant program we can improve these areas, enabling people to consider options such as living, shopping and new small business opportunities. The city has had many pockets of success. Through grants like this we can continue connecting those pockets into one unified success. Doolittle Electric is proud to be a partner in this success story.”

Mayor Henry introduced the Commercial Fa?ade 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 2009-2014, the City awarded $1.3 million in grant funding, which leveraged more than $3.8 million of private investment toward improvements. A total of 72 projects have been 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 fa?ade 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 Doolittle Electric project, the other 2015 fa?ade grant recipients are:

– Belmont Beverage, 4308 S. Anthony Blvd. 46806

– Blue Jacket, 2826 S. Calhoun St. 46807

– Ingleman Parrish Orthodontics, SAG Properties, B’Exquisite Salon & Spa, 223 E. Tillman Rd. 46809

– New Image Printing, 3233 S. Lafayette St. 46806

– Sanco Industries, 1819 S. Calhoun St.46802

– The Old East End Building, 1501 E. Berry St. 46803

– Trouble Brewing, 2725 Broadway, 46807

Source: City of Fort Wayne

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