PreservINg Main Street

Our community was fortunate enough to receive a different CDBG grant in 2019, which allowed Kendallville to revitalize our downtown streetscape with new street lights, sidewalks, and trees. We are excited about the new, fresh look of our downtown . . . but the grant did so much more than just make our town pretty. In fact, the grant was the impetus for the incredible momentum we have had in our downtown's revitalization efforts over the last few years. We have attracted multiple new businesses, as well as substantial public and private investment, which have allowed us to create a new pocket park, revitalize our parking lots, and much more. Most recently Kendallville was awarded the $2M PreservINg Main Street grant, which will ensure that our downtown buildings maintain their beauty and historical integrity. The success of our Main Street program is a direct result of the creative use of CDBG funds through Indiana's Office of Rural and Community Affairs. We are incredibly grateful to be able to take advantage of such a wonderful program, which is truly helping our community thrive.
Kristen Johnson
Executive Director, Experience the Heart of Kendallville

Two locations for pilot program –  Kendallville, IN (IN-3) and Brookville, IN (IN-6)

Andrea Kern
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Office of Community and Rural Affairs State of Indiana
(317) 607-4821
[email protected]

Kelly Humrichouser
Director of Government Relations
Main Street America
(312) 610-5619 [email protected]

Historic, rural Main Street districts across Indiana face an ongoing challenge of the rehabilitation of multistory, mixed use downtown buildings. The PreservINg Main Street program, a collaborative effort between Indiana’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs, Indiana Landmarks, and Indiana Humanities, offers a comprehensive downtown revitalization model utilizing $2 million of CDBG funds per participating community to preserve and rehabilitate historic Main Street buildings, create public awareness and community pride, and offer added capacity building and leadership development opportunities for community leaders. In its initial round of funding, the 2021 awardees are Kendallville and Brookville. Both communities are in the initial phases of developing match funding, programming, and local preservation ordinances to facilitate appropriate building rehabilitation with property owners.

Downtowns are open and accessible to all members of a community, residents and visitors. Through a combination of building façade improvements and public programs, the PreserINg Main Street program will attract additional investment and business to downtown corridors. Additional capacity building for community organizations and long-term revolving loan funds help to sustain the impact of these initiatives and help the community reach a broader audience. Program participants will utilize downtown management software to track metrics across both property redevelopment and economic impacts, including new businesses opened within the Main Street district and jobs created, the amount of public and private investment leveraged through the program related to façade and building rehabilitation, tax valuation, the number of residents and visitors participating in preservation-related public programs, and overall population growth.

In Kendallville, the community has rallied to meet fundraising goals and is close to completing match requirements. An architectural firm has been hired, and property owners were encouraged to submit applications for rehabilitation projects by early January 2022. Twenty-five applications were submitted and scored on a tiered priority basis. If selected, property owners will receive consultation with architects and engineers to confirm their plans and will be offered 85% of funding for building rehabilitation through the CDBG funds. A local preservation ordinance and commission passed and will offer new historic preservation guidance to the grantees. Additionally, the Kendallville Main Street organization is conducting outreach with local property owners to create an updated inventory of downtown properties and their rehabilitation needs.

In Brookville, the community is engaged in early stages of developing match funding for the grant program with partner organizations. These conversations are also initiating decision-making about roles and responsibilities with carrying out program objectives. Concurrently, Brookville has conducted several initial events to develop community interest in the program including a “Celebrate Brookville” community engagement session wherein eigty residents were asked to envision new uses for vacant and deteriorated storefronts. Since the event, three entrepreneurs have reached out to the Main Street program about the potential to open a new business downtown.

• Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs
• Indiana Office of the Lt. Governor
• Indiana Main Street
• Indiana Landmarks
• Indiana Humanities
• Main Street America
• Franklin County Community Foundation (Brookville)
• Brookville Town Council (Brookville)
• Main Street Brookville (Brookville)
• Kendallville Area Chamber of Commerce Executive (Kendallville)
• Kendallville Main Street (Kendallville)
• Kendallville Heritage Association (Kendallville)

For each community –
• CDBG – $2,000,000
• Match requirement – Mix of public/private – $200,000
• Grant from Indiana Humanities – $20,000
• Total – $2,220,000 per community

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