Façade grants provide more money for downtown Zionsville

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The town’s facade grant program will allow shop owners to update exterior building designs, such as windows and doors.

The town’s facade grant program will allow shop owners to update exterior building designs, such as windows and doors.

By Sophie Pappas

At the February Zionsville Town Council meeting, the council approved an increased budget for the Zionsville Architectural Review Committee.

Map Toolkit CS2The committee will see a $25,000 budget increase from 2013, from $50,000 to $75,000. This money is granted to small businesses owners in an effort to help beautify Zionsville’s downtown. These funds come from the town’s food and beverage account.

Former recipients of these façade grants include Lowder Insurance, which received $11,108 in 2011, and Cobblestone Grill, which received $12,723 in 2013.

This year, the committee has already approved a $25,550 grant for the Villagio restaurant. A pending grant of $34,308 is appropriated for the 305 S. Main St. building that will soon become Scoops Ice Cream and Gelato.

“I thought [the committee]needed to get more,” said Councilwoman Candace Ulmer, following the council’s approval.

Councilman Steve Mundy said this is a great program to help Zionsville’s businesses thrive.

“It’s very worthwhile,” he said. “But you don’t want to spend all your budget on one project.”

Mundy recommended the group move from its previous 50/50 matching program to a leaner budget of granting perhaps 30 or 40 percent to a project, to give money to more businesses instead of just one or two each year.

The façade grant application currently states, “The façade grant program provides matching grants of up to 50% of the project cost for qualifying projects with no maximum cap.”

It also states that these grants should be used to provide a pleasing aesthetic for business owners and consumers, but that these are not maintenance grants.

To be approved, these grants must “encourage the enhancement

of historic or distinct architectural features.”

How to apply for a façade grant:

  • – Complete and submit application
  • – Get quotes for grant-appropriate portions of the project
  • – Get material samples where possible
  • – Review application with a committee representative
  • – Meet on the building site with an architect/committee member
  • – Perhaps get more quotes and material samples
  • – Present the project to the ZARC committee for approval

 

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