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A new program to help businesses improve their exterior facades was approved by the Minot City Council this week.
The program will provide public funds as part of a private/public partnership with building owners to improve exterior facades. The program is available to businesses located in the central business district.
“Downtown is a special asset in a number of ways,” Jonathan Rosenthal, economic development administrator for the City of Minot, told Council members. “It’s a special animal. It was built without a lot of parking. It was built before a lot of the current building codes were in place. There are some investments that go on in other parts of the city that aren’t the same as what happens in downtown.”
Rosenthal explained to Council members that the program has several key goals, including:
Several business owners from downtown voiced support for the program during the Council meeting before the council unanimously supported the project.
The program will operate as a forgivable loan program that will respect the historic nature of downtown buildings while updating their functionality and energy efficiency. A qualifying business owner with a building located in the central business district would be required to provide 25% of the necessary funding for a complete façade restoration, with the City providing the remaining 75% through reimbursements when the project was completed. Building owners would enter into a 10-year agreement to maintain the façade, among other conditions.
The maximum amount of funding provided by the City on a single application would be $100,000.
Applications will be reviewed by City staff and submitted to the Renaissance Zone Review Board, which will forward recommendations for final approval to the City Council.