Waterville’s façade & building improvement program announces new funding cycle

Complementing revitalization within downtown Waterville’s Main Street corridor, Central Maine Growth Council (CMGC) has announced the successful grantees of its Façade and Building Improvement Grant Program (FBIGP).

The grant program, funded by Colby College and the Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation, provides a reimbursement of up to 50 percent of the total estimated project budget of up to $10,000. Eligible projects range from new awnings and signage to brick repointing and the creation of murals.

“Selah Tea prides itself on providing our customers with the best organic coffees, teas, and yummy food in addition to comfortable and welcoming spaces for conversation and community building,” states Selah Tea Café owner Bobby McGee. “Funding secured through the Façade and Building Improvement program will allow the café to invest in our main entrance to create a more attractive and welcoming entryway to our business; we look forward to our continued growth in Waterville in conjunction with Main Street’s continued development.”

The program was established in 2019 to broaden engagement in Waterville’s ongoing revitalization, activated by over $200 million in recent investment by private and public sector supporters. With the Façade and Building Improvement initiative now in its fourth year of deployment, the grant program encourages new and existing downtown property owners and businesses to invest in their commercial storefronts while restoring the original character of historic buildings. CMGC has deployed 36 grants totaling $175,950 since the program’s launch in 2019, supporting and stimulating more than $2.25 million in direct investment in less than three years.

“From business and downtown revitalization to historical façade restoration, we have been thrilled with the quality of past applications and look forward to another round of impactful downtown projects,” states Garvan D. Donegan, director of planning, innovation, and economic development at Central Maine Growth Council. “Coming at a time of new traffic patterns, elongated sidewalks and pedestrian improvements, increased redevelopment activity, and significant downtown investment, the façade program continues to support the community in building off the downtown’s continued momentum while encouraging business and property owners to expand and grow new downtown initiatives, incentivize landlords to beautify and improve their buildings and streetscapes, and preserve our historic downtown district while fostering the conditions for small business creation, retention, and recruitment.”

This year, the grant awards made through the façade program will stimulate more than $150,000 in direct investment in downtown storefronts and façades during the 2023 calendar year. 15 applications were submitted, and 10 were awarded.

Successful grantees of the 2022-23 FBIGP award include:

177 Main Street – Selah Tea Cafe, LLC.
147 Main Street – Soul Revival Yoga
129 Main Street – 129 Gudis, LLC.
90-100 Main Street/65-67 East Concourse – Sidney H. Geller Trust, LLC.
80-88 Main Street/55 East Concourse – Waterville Investment Properties, LLC.
74 Main Street – Lion’s Den Tavern
70 Main Street – Holy Cannoli
46 Main Street – The Framemakers
42-44 Main Street – Focus LLC.
5 Silver Street – Hinge Collaborative

To learn more about FBIGP, please visit www.centralmaine.org/facade.


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