IEDA Awards $689,000 in CDBG-CV Funding to Coon Rapids
 
Posted on Monday January 17, 2022
 
Last week, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) notified the City of Coon Rapids that they have been awarded a $689,081 Community Development Block Grant - COVID19 (CDBG-CV) for fa├žade enhancements.
 
Last week, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) notified the City of Coon Rapids that they have been awarded a $689,081 Community Development Block Grant - COVID19 (CDBG-CV) for façade enhancements.

“The significance of this grant is huge, and the impact it will make on our downtown will be felt for decades,” said Katie Mason, Coon Rapids Community Coordinator and Main Street Director. Mason and City Clerk Jesica Leighty worked with Region XII grant writer Lauren Mortensen to submit the grant application in November.

The funds will be used to enhance and restore nine facades on eight downtown commercial buildings to remove blight and improve the Main Street appearance. The total project cost is estimated to be nearly $914,400 of which the CDBG-CV grant will cover roughly 75 percent of the cost. The City of Coon Rapids and the building owners will split the remaining 25 percent. The city will use Tax Increment Funding (TIF) to cover their portion of the project.

CDBG-CV Funds will be used to enhance the following buildings: old ambulance building (400 Main St. – both the front and east facades), Main Street Coon Rapids (406 Main St.), Nature Ammil (408 Main St.), Venteicher Electric (413 Main St.), Mohr Construction & Lumber/Brown Bag & Co. (500 Main St.), Coon Rapids Enterprise (504 Main St.), Village Hobby House (508 Main St.) and the former Stacy’s Studio & Boutique/Mark Thomas Office building (521 Main St.). Planning and development of the façade project began in February of 2021. At that time, more than two dozen downtown building owners were included in the initial project. The final group was selected for the grant as a result of owner commitment and blight eligibility.

“We are so grateful to the state for providing our community such an amazing opportunity. This specific program is a one-time grant that allows our building owners to make huge improvements to their buildings,” said Mason who explained that the CDBG-CV program is a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act. Not only did the grant writers have to prove that the buildings suffered blight, but also that the proposed project prevents, prepares, and/or responds to the coronavirus. The city worked with Franks Design Group (FDG) of Glenwood and Region XII to acquire the necessary blight documentation and submit the application.

Over the next two months, building owners will work closely with FDG to finalize construction plans in order to let bids in March. A major requirement of the CDBG-CV grant is that all construction be completed by May 2023. That means Main Street will be a buzz of construction this summer as contractors work to complete all nine façade renovations. Because the city was awarded the grant, the city is required to hire the general contractor to complete the massive project. In addition, they will utilize Region XII as the grant administrator.

CDBG-CV Façade program: In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in the CARES Act was a $5 billion supplemental allocation to the CDBG program. The State of Iowa received $31.3 million in CDBG-CV funding; Approximately $21 million was available to non-entitlement communities/counties in Iowa.

Activities funded with CDBG-CV funds must be determined to be a CDBG eligible activity. In addition, each activity funded with CDBG funds must meet one of three national objectives: prevention and elimination of slum and blight, benefit low to moderate income persons or meet an urgent need.

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Mohr building 2021
Mohr building 2022 rendering



Mohr Construction & Lumber/Brown Bag & Co. (500 Main St.) is one of eight buildings on Coon Rapids’ Main Street that will be under construction this summer as part of the city’s $914,400 façade renovation project. The city was just awarded a $689,081 Community Development Block Grant - COVID19 (CDBG-CV) to help fund the project. The above photos show the current 500 Main Street building and its proposed renovation plan submitted for the CDBG-CV Façade grant. During the research phase of the façade project, an exciting discovery revealed that there are actually two buildings at this location, not the one it appears to be. The east side is a two-story wood structure, but the west side is a one-story brick façade that looks very similar to the Enterprise building next door. Once the second story slip cover is removed, both bays’ historic architecture will be restored. A new awning, new windows and other restoration plans will be finalized in the coming months.

 

City of Coon Rapids
City of Coon Rapids
123 3rd Avenue South, Coon Rapids, IA 50058
Phone: 712-999-7749
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