Funding applications to help in the construction of new downtown residential developments, or spruce up existing storefronts, are now being accepted by the City of Red Deer.
Property owners and developers in the Greater Downtown Area can now apply for a Residential and Mixed Use Development Grant, or a Facade and Storefront Improvement and CPTED Rebate. Applications will be accepted until March 1.
“Feedback from recipients has been very positive, and we can see the impact these incentives are having with our own eyes. I walk past projects, whether and new facade or a beautiful brand new multifamily building, on a regular basis, and it is nice to be able to see the tangible evidence of these incentives,” said Jason Taylor with the city’s Development Services Division in a statement.
“In many cases, applicants make a point of letting us know that the projects funded wouldn’t have gone ahead at all without the incentives.”
The programs have been available since 2020 and the city currently has no plans to continue offering them beyond this latest call for applications.
Since the residential and mixed use grants program began, four projects have been approved which have added 15 residential units to the downtown and another 24 units are expected to be completed. Private investment in the projects is estimated at $17 million, and the city provided $850,000 in grants.
A total of 30 applicants have been approved for facade or storefront improvement projects and over 10 Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) assessments were conducted. Private investment is estimated at $860,000, and the city provided more than $440,000 in rebates.
Brandon Bouchard, Red Deer Downtown Business Association chair, said a similar facade improvement program run by the association is also very popular, and can help draw new businesses into the downtown.
“I’m sure any help that the city or DBA can provide on that front is welcome. It’s a fantastic idea, especially for buildings in need of a little bit of an update,” Bouchard said.
He said another city program that has perked up the downtown was the Meet the Street Mural Projects which increased foot traffic in the area.
“The murals themselves were so professionally done and so gorgeous. We had a lot of people coming down and taking pictures and doing tours of the murals.”
The city’s facade or storefront improvement program provides a matching rebate, for those eligible, of up to a maximum of $20,000 for upgrades to single facades, $30,000 for properties with two street facing facades, $2,500 for perpendicular signage improvements, and $10,000 for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design improvements.
The residential and mixed use grant is for new construction projects to make it easier for people to live downtown and increase activity for downtown businesses. Lump sum grants of $50,000 may be available for construction projects valued under $1 million, $150,000 for projects $1 to 2.5 million, $200,000 for projects $2.5 to 4 million, and $250,000 for projects over $4 million.
For more details visit Leading Forward Economic Incentives Program at reddeer.ca.
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