Revitalization Grants Approved in Four Communities
January 4, 2023
13 projects with investments of nearly $3.9 million to receive financial support
LITTLE FALLS, MN—Thirteen hometown projects that will bring nearly $3.9 million in main street improvements have been approved by the Initiative Foundation during the first round of Minnesota Main Street Revitalization grant funding. Communities benefitting from these grants include Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls and Pine River.
The funding is supported by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), which allocated $4.5 million to the Initiative Foundation for Central Minnesota economic development opportunities. The Minnesota Main Street Revitalization Program provides for 30 percent matching grants and guaranteed loans for economic and redevelopment needs that have arisen since the March 2020 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses must have or secure the remaining 70 percent of funding.
Six communities met the criteria and deadlines to receive funding from the program. The Initiative Foundation worked with Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Pine River and St. Cloud to identify corridors that experienced COVID-19 impacts—from travel and tourism businesses to site improvement to upgrading commercial property vacancies. Funding can be used for demolition and site preparation, engineering and design, repair, renovation and construction. All projects must be completed within a 36-month window that will close in July 2025.
The following projects with an estimated total investment of nearly $3.9 million have submitted the necessary documentation to receive funding recommended by their local economic development authority and the Initiative Foundation:
- Brainerd Family YMCA, 602 Oak St: A $100,000 grant for repair and renovation of building adjacent to the YMCA to create a new child care center. The center will expand the number of children the YMCA can serve while also addressing an urgent community need. Total project cost: $1,456,000.
- Stangler Properties, LLC, 515 S. Ninth St: A $60,000 grant to construct two new units of affordable rental housing in the downtown corridor. Total project cost: $200,000.
- KHK Properties, 201 Main St.: A $199,950 grant for new construction to be occupied by a chiropractic clinic with additional space available for lease. The project includes landscaping, streetscaping and design and engineering. Total project cost: $889,969.
- Quarry Cinema, 111 E. Highway 23: A $46,364 grant to repair and renovate outdated and ineffective systems. Total project cost: $154,556.
- RJS Enterprises, 205 16th Ave. S.: A $60,000 grant to install plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and electrical systems and renovate to ultimately open an ice cream business. Total project cost: $285,000.
- Community Development of Morrison County, 316 E. Broadway Ave.: A $3,000 grant for replacement windows. Total project cost: $10,000.
- Purple Carrot Market, 53 E. Broadway Ave.: A $15,636 grant to install custom boilers and to prepare architectural and construction documents for a planned owner-member food cooperative. The total project cost: $52,121.
- Little Falls Plumbing and Heating, 120 Second St. NE: A $27,450 grant to replace the roofing on the building. Total project cost: $91,500.
- First Avenue Advertising, 122, 1st Ave. SE: A $12,232 grant for removal of asbestos siding and installation of new siding and windows. Total project cost: $40,774.
- Associates in Eyecare, 424 Barclay Ave.: A $3,300 grant for interior renovations and a bathroom remodel. Total project cost: $11,000.
- Bonham Construction and Maintenance Services, Inc., 173 W. Barclay Ave.: A $180,000 grant for the renovation of a former Alco building to become the site of a Tractor Supply Company (TSC) business. Total project cost: $600,000.
- Britton Properties, LLC, 415 Barclay Ave.: A $5,000 grant to repave and improve slope of an upper parking lot. This building is leased by Central Minnesota Dermatology. Total project cost: $23,595.
- LOML Properties, LLC, 209 Barclay Ave.: A $15,000 grant to renovate a commercial building. Total project cost: $50,000.
More than 100 additional projects have been recommended for funding and are still securing bids or developing the documentation required to receive a grant. Anticipated total economic development allocations are as follows for each eligible community:
- Brainerd: $765,600
- Cold Spring: $505,750
- Little Falls: $632,130
- Long Prairie $493,000
- Pine River: $425,500
- St. Cloud: $1.5 million
About the Initiative Foundation
The Initiative Foundation serves the 14 counties and two sovereign tribal nations of Central Minnesota: Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena and Wright counties and the nations of the Leech Lake and Mille Lacs Bands of Ojibwe. Based in Little Falls, the Foundation exists to improve the quality of life and to build stronger communities in Central Minnesota by offering business loans, nonprofit grants, leadership training and donor services through its Partner Funds programs. Since 1986, the Initiative Foundation and its Partner Funds have invested multiple millions in the region through targeted grants and business financing investments.