$850,000 funding announced for downtown building revitalization

TOPEKA – Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland today announced $850,000 has been made available to fund a new round of Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) grants. The HEAL program, which is funded by the Department of Commerce and the Patterson Family Foundation, provides grants to small communities across the state to revitalize downtown buildings.

The HEAL program is designed to bring downtown buildings back into productive use as spaces for:

  • New or expanding businesses
  • Housing
  • Arts and culture
  • Civic engagement
  • Childcare
  • Entrepreneurship

“Downtowns throughout Kansas are already making dramatic and visible improvements because of this popular program,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Our partnership with the Patterson Family Foundation is creating even more opportunities for communities to bring their historic buildings back to life and strengthen their local economies.”

HEAL is intended to close financial gaps in restoring underutilized properties and making downtown districts throughout the state more economically vibrant. Applicants must show that submitted projects have potential to become economic drivers in the community.

Eligible applicants must be organizations applying on behalf of building owners and may include designated Kansas Main Street programs, economic development organizations, cities, counties, 501c3 or 501c6 organizations, and local community foundations.

Private building owners should contact their local organization to work in partnership on the application and to identify buildings that are strong candidates for the HEAL program. The buildings should be underutilized, valuable to the historic fabric of the downtown district and have a feasible plan for adaptive re-use.

“Contributing to the HEAL program alongside the Department of Commerce is a natural fit for our foundation’s mission,” said Lindsey Patterson Smith, President of the Patterson Family Foundation. “Downtown areas are often the heart of communities of all sizes, and we believe rural downtown spaces especially will benefit from improvements to their beauty, safety, and greater accessibility.”

HEAL matching grants will be awarded for either façade or building construction projects. Communities that received a previous HEAL grant are not eligible to apply in this round.

Proof of matching funds from the building owner will be required at the time of application. The application window opens February 13 and closes March 31 with award notifications at the end of May.

Information about the HEAL grant program and the online application can be viewed at www.kansascommerce.gov/heal.

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