DMD Board Approves Record Amount of Grant Funding in First Four Months of Program Year
Despite the pandemic, Downtown’s small businesses and property owners are investing in their properties in record numbers. With the approval of five grants at its January Board meeting, the Downtown Management District (DMD) Board of Directors has approved a record amount of funding for Improvement Grants during the current program year.
The DMD manages four improvement grant programs in total. The Downtown Commercial Façade Improvement Grant Program and the Downtown Signature Signage and Lighting programs are funded by the DMD and the City of El Paso/TIRZ No. 5. The DMD’s Downtown Pedestrian Corridor Improvement Grant Program and Downtown Mural Grant Program are funded solely by the DMD. Maximum grants are $10,000 or $25,000 depending on the specific program, and all grants require an equal match from the applicant.
To date, for the program year which started October 1, 2020, the DMD Board has approved the following grants:
TOTAL Number of Grants Approved This Year: 13
TOTAL Amount Granted This Year: $242,068.25
Previous Grant Awards by year are as follows:
* Projects still in process of completion
The grants approved by the Downtown Management District (DMD) Board of Directors at its January 28, 2021 Board Meeting include the following:
A property at 601 Texas Ave., and owned by Stanton Street Development, was approved for $8,510.75 in Pedestrian Corridor Improvement Grant funds. The estimated total project cost is $21,966.50. Planned corridor improvements on include: demolition of existing sidewalk and the installation of rebar, expansion points and new concrete.
A property at 533 W. Franklin Ave., and owned by Fire Emoji, LLC, was approved for $25,000 in Commercial Façade
Improvement Grant funds. Formerly known as the Blackbird Cantina, the estimated total project cost is $50,300. Planned improvements on the property include, but are not limited to: installation of front pergola footings and steel, brick exterior and tile, new entrance framing, stucco, paint, and the replacement of front doors and windows. Fire Emoji, LLC was also approved for
$8,975 in Signature Signage and Lighting Grant funds for the same property with a total project cost of $25,400. Improvements will include electrical and color changing lighting on tower, pergola lighting and pendants, brass wall blade signage, lighting
fixtures and electrical.
A property at 1031 Texas Ave., and owned by LFG Global, LLC, was approved for $22,382.50 in Commercial Façade Improvement Grant funds. The estimated total project cost is $50,975. Planned improvements include: cinder block demolition for new storefront, new storefront and glazing, repairing of exterior plaster, and paint building exterior. Signature
Signage and Lighting Grant funds
in the amount of $13,450 were approved for the same property on a 1:1 match with total project cost estimated at $26,900. Planned improvement to include: reinforcing rooftop Firestone sign structure, refurbishment of rooftop Firestone neon sign, and exterior lighting package.
Grant applications are considered on a first come, first served basis while funding is available. Due to recent activity, only approximately $30,000 remains available for future grants. Property/business owners interested in applying for funding can visit http://downtownelpaso.com/downtown-grant-programs/ or call Terry Mais, 915-400-2295 for more information.
About the DMD Grant Programs
The Commercial Façade Improvement Grant provides matching funds to existing businesses and/or property owners to make improvements to the exterior of buildings in the boundaries of the El Paso DMD, and/or the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 5 (TIRZ). The program is managed by the DMD with funding from the DMD and TIRZ. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-serve basis while funding is available. Applicants can apply for up to $25,000 in reimbursement funding.
The Downtown Signature Signage & Lighting Grant Program provides funding to existing businesses and/or property owners within the DMD/TIRZ boundaries for the establishment and/or restoration of iconic signage and/or lighting installations. The maximum grant available is $25,000. This grant, when awarded, can provide one grant dollar for every eligible matching dollar invested (1:1 ratio).
The Downtown Pedestrian Corridor Improvement Grant Program provides funding to existing businesses and/or property owners within the DMD boundaries for improvements to the exterior spaces adjacent to or within the public right-of-way. The maximum grant available is $10,000 and each grant dollar must be matched by a private investment dollar (1:1 ratio).
The Commercial Façade Improvement Program is one of four downtown grant programs offered by the DMD, such as Iconic Signage and Lighting Program, Pedestrian Corridor Improvement Grant Program, and the Mural Grant Program.