Ames Offering Facade Grants to Restore Main Street District, Create Vibrant Campustown

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AMES, Iowa -- The city of Ames is hoping, with a little bit of help, local business owners will do their part in restoring the historic downtown district.

Ames' Main Street District is on the National Register of Historic Places, that's one of the reasons why the city is offering businesses a grant to really help make the area shine.

The downtown facade grant started over a decade ago, but still many shops and restaurants have yet to take advantage. It's a dollar-for-dollar grant, as the city will match up to $15,000 worth of improvements and restoration to the outside of a building. The city's overall goal is to bring this area back to its period of significance, to what it looked like in the 1920s.

“Main Street is a very specific place here in Ames and one that is beloved in the community,” city planner for Ames, Benjamin Campbell said. “So the thinking is we are putting public funds into that restoration because we all benefit from Main Street, from those individual buildings forming this whole that is Main Street, and making it a great place to live, to shop, to host farmers’ markets on Saturdays in the summer.”

The deadline to apply for this grant is February 21st. You can find more information here.

The city of Ames also has another grant for the campustown area. The deadline for those grants is also coming up at the end of February. The focus for this facade grant is trying to encourage storefronts to help create a vibrant campustown and enhance its diverse culture and uniqueness.

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