Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Sitting Pretty in Shawnee: Grant Program Helps Downtown Retailers Put Best Facade Forward

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Sitting Pretty in Shawnee: Grant Program Helps Downtown Retailers Put Best Facade Forward

Article excerpt

Downtown Shawnee is scattered with business facades that have seen better days, but a program wants to change that in an effort to bring retail back to the area.

Started six months ago, the Downtown Facade Grant program has already given out four grants to downtown businesses to assist with revitalization efforts. Each business that receives a grant must be able to match the amount. Businesses can receive up to $2,500.

The work done with the grants ranges from removing old signs covering windows at Neal's Home Furnishings to taking down old latticework at the home of the Shawnee Travel Shop.

Assistant City Planner Stephanie Clary said interest in the program has grown, especially as businesses see the work being completed.

"Once one building redoes their facade, then other businesses follow suit," she said. "A lot of them are saving their money so they can request the highest amount (of the grant) available, so they can get more bang for their buck."

The city had a similar program through its Main Street association years ago. Once the Main Street association dwindled, however, so did the facade program.

Shawnee Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Tim Burg said the program has given hope to people who want to see a better future for downtown.

"The program is helping to attract capital business back to the downtown area," he said. "Sometimes you get a huge task and no one wants to take it on. But (the grant recipients and the grant providers) have a passion for downtown. They really want to see it back the way it was."

The grants are provided through the city of Shawnee, Shawnee Economic Development Foundation, and the Shawnee Industrial Authority. The program was awarded the 2013 State Historic Preservation Officer's Citation of Merit, which will be presented later this summer. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.