Revitalization Grants OK’d in Five Communities
LITTLE FALLS, MN—Fifteen hometown projects that will bring nearly $4 million in main street improvements to Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Long Prairie and St. Cloud have been approved by the Initiative Foundation as part of the Minnesota Main Street Revitalization program. Since the start of the project, the Initiative Foundation has approved 25 projects with investments totaling more than $14 million in Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Pine River and Brainerd.
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.
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 most recent projects receiving funding have an estimated total investment of $3.9 million. These projects have submitted the necessary documentation to receive funding recommended by their local economic development authority and the Initiative Foundation:
- Anderson Dry Cleaning, 416 South 8th St.: A $21,000 grant for new electric, flooring, signage and a roof. Total project cost: $70,000.
- First Impression Print & Design, 401 Front St.: A $44,327.61 grant for remodeling and purchasing new signage. Total project cost: $240,000.
- Snap Fitness, 20 Red River Ave. S., Ste. 120: A $6,000 grant for new paint and exterior signage. Total project cost: $20,000.
- Side Bar & Grill, 15 North Red River Ave.: A $13,500 grant for exterior building improvements. Total project cost: $45,000.
- Subway, 28 Red River Ave. N.: A $52,500 grant for remodeling. Total project cost: $175,000.
- 1st Ave Auto Repair, Inc., 109 1st Ave SE: A $32,740 grant for roof, ceiling and siding repair, painting, new heating and air conditioning and possible floor drain repair. Total project cost: $109,135.
- Long Prairie Plumbing and Heating, 120 Lake St. S.: A $8,760 grant for parking lot improvements. Total project cost: $29,200.
- Jose Garcia, Future Commercial Space, 114 Central Ave.: A $22,500 grant for repairs and renovation of a former Minnesota Power building. Total project cost: $80,000.
- Mi Pueblito Market, Inc., 120 Central Ave.: A $7,500 grant for repairs and renovations. Total project cost: $25,000.
- Long Prairie Dairy Queen, 710 Commerce Rd.: A $7,723 grant for expansion and remodeling. Total project cost: $25,745.
- Christie House Museum, 703 3rd Ave. NE: A $4,104 grant for interior repairs. Total project cost: $13,680.
- MoXie Ladies, LLC, 413 & 415 East Saint Germain St.: A $60,000 grant to bring the building up to code. Total project cost: $200,000.
- Pioneer Place on 5th, 22 5th Ave. S.: A $54,000 grant to remodel to accommodate a bar and grill space. Total project cost: $180,000.
- Arcasearch, LLC, 720 West Saint Germain St.: A $199,000 grant for updating the building for modern use. Total project cost: $936,000.
- Oberg Roofing and Remodeling, 717 West Saint Germain St.: A $195,000 grant for renovation of the building for corporate business use. Total project cost: $1.6 million
More than 45 remaining 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 and East St. Cloud: $1.5 million