Audubon Neighborhood Association Offers Façade Improvement Grants to Johnson Street Merchants

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Business owners on Johnson Street in the Audubon Park neighborhood are eligible for as much as $1,500 per address through a new ANA streetscape improvement initiative. “Already hurting from the bridge collapse, we hope to help our local businesses though this down economy,” says Mark Fox, chair of ANA’s Land Use Committee. “Our Johnson Street merchants now have a great opportunity to increase their curb appeal and build customer traffic.”

The Audubon Neighborhood Association (ANA) is offering $1,500 matching-fund grants to business or property owners on Johnson Street within the Audubon Park neighborhood. ANA will rebate one third of qualifying investments in permanent, visible façade improvements. Eligible work may include painting, windows, doors, signage, lighting and more. Owners are encouraged to consult the City of Minneapolis Great Streets Façade Design Guide for suggestions and ideas. Additional funding and technical support is available through the City’s Great Streets program.

The Johnson Street business district, at the heart of the Audubon Park neighborhood, had its lifeline cut when the I-35W Bridge collapsed. Shortly after the new bridge opened, the general retail environment soured. Today, with potential customers guarding their dollars, Johnson Street merchants can seize this opportunity and become more enticing to the thousands who pass their storefronts every day.

ANA has contracted its entire remaining balance of NRP-allocated Johnson Street funds to establish this program. Helping businesses invest in a fresh face will lead to higher sales, a healthier business district, and a stronger community. “Times may be tough right now, but with a some help from ANA, our merchants can make a lasting difference,” said Fox.

Applications and full program details can be found at http://AudubonNeighborhood.org/content/2009-johnson-grant

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