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DMD Establishes New Grant Incentives to Entice Downtown Investment

On December 1, 2016 at the Downtown Management District (DMD) Board of Directors approved the creation of additional grant incentives for downtown property and/or business owners who invest in their properties.

The new incentives consist of an amendment to the current Downtown Commercial Façade Grant Program as well as the addition of three new grant programs. All of the new grant incentives took effect on January 1, 2017 and will utilize existing Downtown Management District funds earmarked for the Downtown Commercial Façade Improvement Grant Program.

The amendment and three new incentive programs are intended to attract investment in the downtown and are available to DMD property and business owners.

Grant applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funding has been committed. The DMD currently has $120,000 available in grant funding.

Below is information on each of the new grant opportunities:

Streetcar & El Paso Street Incentive (Amendment to existing Façade Improvement Program)

The amendment to the existing Downtown Commercial Façade Improvement Program increases the grant match by providing two grant dollars for every one private investment dollar for property and business owners located along El Paso Street (from San Antonio to Sixth), and along the Streetcar Route.

All other grant requirements and considerations would still apply including the $25,000 maximum grant award.

Downtown Iconic Signage and Lighting Grant Program

This new program provides two grant dollars for every one private investment dollar for iconic and transformative signage and lighting projects. The program hopes to spur investment in lighting and iconic signage projects that cultivates the downtown identity.

The maximum grant available is $25,000.

Downtown Pedestrian Corridor Improvement Grant Program

This new program incentivizes improvements associated with the pedestrian environment and not associated with a building structure or façade. This translates to non-building related projects that enhance the physical environment – examples include but are not limited to landscaping, bike racks, outdoor cafés, or parklets.

The grant will provide one grant dollar for every private investment dollar.  The maximum grant available is $10,000.

Downtown Mural Grant Program

Lastly, the new mural program incentivizes the creation and/or restoration of murals visible to the public. A review panel consisting of arts professionals will be established to review each proposed mural for quality and appropriateness prior to being reviewed by the Grant Committee and the DMD Board.

The grant will provide one grant dollar for every private investment dollar.  The maximum grant available is $10,000.

To be eligible to apply for a DMD Grant, the applicant must:

                     a.        Be a legal property owner. Business owners/tenants may apply with written property owner consent.

                    b.        Actively pay property taxes on proposed project’s property maintaining a current account status.

                     c.        Have no other debts in arrears to the City of El Paso to the best of their knowledge.

                    d.        Obtain and provide proof of no current code enforcement actions pending against the property that would not be mitigated by the improvement project by visiting this website.  Searches are available for all violations, i.e.; Building, Enforcement, Environmental, Animal, Fire, and Health.

Eligible applicants can obtain program guidelines and applications by going online or by calling the DMD office at 915-400-2294.

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2 comments

  1. The downtown management district DMD is just trying to save face after last Decembers 2016 huge let down by city council on failing to proceed with the downtown arena Union Plaza location. What is the point in fixing up your downtown property when the results will still end up making it look like a third world city?
    Billy Abraham sure knows about this method in just playing the wait and see game! if there are any developer prospects willing to put money up front to fix up his dilapidated buildings. City council starting with mayor Oscar Leeser and his secret illegal meetings with 4 city reps to derail the downtown arena Union Plaza location. And all Cortney Niland can come up with is her phoney whining crocodile tears saying that El Paso has a much better choice by putting the arena over at the convention center site instead of Union Plaza.
    Yeah a new downtown ballpark and an electric streetcar were part of the beginning but the city council failed miserably as they are now toying around with this arena project. To the form of wasting more time and taxpayer money and hiring new out of town accountants and lawyers.
    By the next two or three city council mayor elections El Paso might be lucky to elect a new mayor that might have brass balls and is not a wimp! And don’t cave into protesters that are only fighting to keep their cheap rent dwellings that enables them to more free handouts in the form of social services foodstamps and welfare checks.

    The Abdou building was the last building to announce that it too was going to revitalize and that will be the last building to make that type of announcement. Everything else in downtown is either too old and way too historical that even Max Grossman can’t figure out where to install portable outdoor port o potty’s. Not that the tightwad penny pincher is looking for further improvements to his historical adobe brick buildings,he just want’s attention,fame and publicity.
    Maybe the city should bring back the deplorable dilapidated Brothel Mansion at Union Plaza and put the cities prostitutes back to work. Because things in third world cities never seem to want to change for the better and that is how Max Grossman likes it.
    The Downtown El Paso revitalization is officially Dead as of December 20 2016. May You Rest In Peace you old dilapidated downtown El Paso! 1906 through 2016. Sure a face lift might do the trick in getting people to visit the frozen dead every now and then, but the truth is that there is nothing there.And no point spending any money there so support your local malls while you still can, next to downtown SunLand Park Mall will be the next El Paso icon to go by way of extinction.It’s on Life Support Now.
    El Paso deserves way better starting with bright smart young city representatives including a smart intelligent young mayor.

  2. Dear Albert (previous comment),
    Like all of my colleagues on your El Paso County Historical Commission, I am an unpaid volunteer with no financial interest in my work, nor do I desire fame or recognition. I donate many hours from my busy schedule in order to advocate for our history and culture. If you are going to attack me by name and call me a “tightwad penny pincher,” please have the decency and courage to use your full name so that we all know who you are. Many thanks.

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