The face of Vicksburg is changing with the addition of a $50,000 loan by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to the Vicksburg Downtown Development Authority (DDA). Added to a previous amount of $30,000 from the Vicksburg Foundation, it now provides an $80,000 low-interest loan fund for facade projects.
The Vicksburg DDA Board recently expanded requirements for the program. Building owners can now borrow up to $10,000, up from the previous $5,000 loan limit, over three years. The Board also expanded the use of the funds for rear facade upgrades, tuck pointing, power spraying, porches/decks, balconies, roofs, facade design services and fire suppression in addition to awning, window, door, trim and lighting in the previous program. Interested property owners in the Vicksburg DDA district should contact the DDA at 269-679-1919 for more information.
This spring the Local Initiatives Support Corporation provided a $10,000 facade grant which the DDA matched with $13,474 for a total grant fund of $23,475 with a maximum grant amount of $2,500. The grant was awarded to 10 projects for a variety of improvements including awnings, windows, balcony, brick restoration, and other facade enhancements. The projects resulted in $78,095 in new facade investment in downtown Vicksburg buildings. “We are hoping the new grant program awards will spur additional investment in downtown facade using the enhanced loan program this year”, said Kathleen Hoyle, Vicksburg DDA Director. “It’s been amazing to watch the changes, as well as the enthusiasm, by the downtown building owners and merchants as we continue to make their visions of downtown a reality.”
“Kalamazoo LISC supports projects that enhance and push forward additional investment strategies and this project does exactly that! Our intent with this support is to jumpstart retail and commercial development by supporting quality improvements to storefronts in Vicksburg. We have enjoyed getting to know such a motivated partner like Vicksburg keeping us on our toes and we are excited for their future,“ says Chuck Vliek, program vice president/executive director Michigan LISC.
Three other projects are slated for construction this year for Vicksburg to continue creating the Vicksburg Vision. The first project is the new trailhead which is currently under construction at the corner of North St. and Richardson St. Two other projects in which surveys and site plans have been recently completed are going to bid in the few weeks, including the conversion of the alley on S. Main St. into the Liberty Lane East pedestrian walkway and a complete reconstruction of the main parking lot between Prairie St. and Washington St.
The Vicksburg DDA is an economic development organization that promotes and embraces Vicksburg’s rich heritage by showcasing unique boutiques in historic storefronts, and offers dining, event and entertainment experiences to enhance quality of life opportunities in the region. For more information, visit the website VicksburgDDA.com.