Building Change Program Announces Funding Opportunities Available in 2015

The Building Change Program that facilitated numerous upgrades to Downtown Iowa City and Northside Marketplace commercial properties and businesses last year will provide funding for improvements again in 2015. The City has $30,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds available for facade improvements in downtown Iowa City for commercial buildings located between Iowa Avenue and Burlington Street.

In addition, three local lenders — Hills Bank and Trust, MidWestOne Bank and University of Iowa Community Credit Union — will continue to provide interest-free loans to eligible projects throughout the downtown and Northside Marketplace. Projects that will be eligible for the special financing include:

  • facade renovations
  • entryway modifications, elevators or other accessibility improvements
  • fire safety and sprinkler installations
  • upper level renovations that will convert underutilized or unused upper levels into commercial/office space or workforce housing

Businesses that are currently taking advantage of the program for facade or interior renovations include Yotopia, Martini’s, Sports Column and Cold Stone Ice Cream.

Interested businesses and property owners may visit HYPERLINK “http://www.icgov.org/financialassistance” www.icgov.org/financialassistance for a Building Change application which must be completed and submitted to Kris Ackerson, City of Iowa City, 410 East Washington Street by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 12. Applications will then be reviewed and funding decisions will be made, based on total investment, project impact, type of improvement and other funding sources that may be available.

The Building Change Program may not be an annually funded program. Commercial landlords and/or businesses who are interested in financial assistance are encouraged to apply, as funding for this program may not be available next year.

For more information, contact Kris Ackerson or Wendy Ford with the City of Iowa City at 319-356-5230.