The Kansas Department of Commerce announced this week that Beloit, Concordia and Junction City will share a total of $662,193 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for downtown commercial rehabilitation projects. The grant funds will be matched with $341,703 of private investment.
The purpose of the CDBG program is to develop viable communities by providing adequate and affordable housing, suitable living environments and expanding economic opportunities, particularly for persons of low and moderate income. The Business and Community Development Division of the Department administers the CDBG Program in the non-metropolitan areas of the state.
Downtown Commercial Rehabilitation is a new initiative of the CDBG program that helps communities to improve the quality of their downtown districts by assisting private property owners with the rehabilitation of blighted buildings and with the expansion of economic activity in the revitalized commercial structure. The intended outcome of the investment of grant funds in key buildings with historic or architectural significance is to reverse the cycle of blight and encourage adjacent property owners to improve their buildings.
The city of Beloit requested $162,693 to stabilize and repair a retail building constructed in the 1890s. The owners will invest $58,000 of private funds. Work elements will include foundation improvements, stabilization of exterior walls and upgrading electrical wiring to comply with local code standards. The building will house an appliance store and programming offices for a website developer.
The city of Concordia requested $249,500 to stabilize and repair a building constructed in 1888 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The funds will be matched with $83,703 of private funds. The work will include tuck pointing the walls, window restoration, exterior painting, restoring iron steps and replacing electrical wiring. The building will house an antique store and an art studio.
The city of Junction City requested $250,000 to repair a retail building constructed in the late 1880s located in the downtown historic district. The funds will be matched with $200,000 of private funds. Work elements will include walls, floors, asbestos and mold removal, plumbing and electrical work. An existing home furnishings store, which is located in an adjacent building, will expand into this space. Without this grant, the building would have to be demolished by the city.