Revitalization Grants OK’d in Four Communities
LITTLE FALLS, MN—Nineteen hometown projects that will bring more than $5 million in main street improvements to Brainerd, Long Prairie, Pine River 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 nearly 80 additional projects with investments totaling more than $25.4 million.
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 to receive funding have a total investment of $475,026. These projects have submitted the necessary documentation to receive funding recommended by their local economic development authority and the Initiative Foundation:
- Mickey’s, 417 S. 5th St.—$5,511 to update sign and install a pollinator garden. Total project cost: $18,370.
- Todd County Realty, 616 Lake St. S.—$1,680 to update the steel roof. Total project cost: $5,600.
- Chavez Event Center, 220 1st Ave. S.—$14,895 for floor remodeling and landscaping in front of the center. Total project cost: $57,863.
- American Legion, 714 Commerce Road—$16,000 for updates at the Veterans Memorial Park. Total project cost: $160,000.
- Hidalgo Investment Company, 150 Central Ave.—$49,200 for remodel and renovation of the first floor for commercial space and the upstairs apartments. Total project cost: $164,000.
- Sellnow Law Office, 229 Central Ave.—$3,124 for new carpet and signage, a handicap-accessible ramp and fixes to the front sidewalk. Total project cost: $10,500.
- Auto Value, 840 Commerce Road—$6,100 for parking lot repairs. Total project cost: $30,374.
- ARC Electrical Service, 13 Lake St. S.—$12,899 for new steel on building exterior, service doors and a concrete pad. Total project cost: $44,855.
- Ace Hardware, 820 Commerce Road—$1,716 for building roof repair and exterior updates. Total project cost: $6,866.
- Long Prairie Dairy Queen, 710 Commerce Road—$12,598 for a remodel and addition. Total project cost: $50,392.
- Reichert Place of Long Prairie, LP, 310 Central Ave.—$8,085 for and new water heater and brickwork. Total project cost: $26,950.
- Hats Off Coffee, 416 Central Ave.—$4,500 for a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit. Total project cost: $18,000.
- Hoffman Law Office, PLLC, 243 Central Ave.—$15,510 to replace the roof due to ice leaks and possibly update interior damage. Total project cost: $51,700.
- Long Prairie Plumbing and Heating, Inc., 120 Lake St. S.—$1,500 to replace windows and add to roof line. Total project cost: $7,873.
- Long Prairie Lumber, 102 1st Ave. SW—$14,923 to add a concrete parking area and new fencing. Total project cost: $59,694.
- Community Bowl and Pizzeria, 330 Barclay Ave.—$5,400 for building remodeling and new outdoor signage. Total project cost: $18,000.
- Waseka Hospitality, LLC, 147 East St. Germain St.—$54,435 to renovate a bistro building. Total project cost: $181,450.
- Midnight Real Estate, LLC, 506-510 West St. Germain St.—$199,000 to demolish and reconstruct a building affected by a fire. Total project cost $4 million.
- The Pickled Loon, 715 West St. Germain St.—$47,950 to renovate the upstairs of the existing building. Total project cost: $159,835.
About 10 remaining projects have been recommended for funding but 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