SOUTH BEND, INDIANA: Downtown South Bend Inc. (DTSB) is pleased to award Purple Porch Co-op, a community-owned food co-operative, a $25,000 Exterior Enhancement Grant to be used towards significant exterior improvements of their new downtown South Bend location at 123 Hill Street scheduled to open this fall.
“The grant funds”, states Purple Porch Co-op General Manager, Greg Koehler “will greatly impact our ability to move forward with our vision to bring a beautiful food store that highlights local, organic and fair trade food products to downtown South Bend.” Their offerings will include fresh produce, bulk foods, grocery items, meats, dairy and soups & salads from the in-house kitchen.
Greg further comments: “As a food cooperative, we truly value such a community investment in our project of renovating an otherwise drab building in the historic East Bank Village. It is our goal to contribute to the continuing revitalization of that area. This show of support from DTSB and the City of South Bend will surely inspire further community support and help our business thrive in its early stages.”
This grant is an updated version of the popular Façade and Street Scape Improvement Grant, a grant made possible via a partnership between DTSB and the city of South Bend. In the past, this grant has operated as a rolling grant, awarded on a first-come-first –served basis. 2013 marks the first year the grant program moved to a competitive process with a set application deadline. The committee received six applications totaling over $118,000 in requested funds.
Commenting on the new competitive process, Exterior Enhancement Grant Committee Chair, local architect Pat Lych stated “The grant committee was pleased to receive so many quality applications this year. All of them deserve recognition for the way in which their projects will doubtlessly contribute to the design quality of Downtown South Bend. Although our limited funds could only assist one applicant we are optimistic that the increased competition reflects a healthy surge in development interest and design awareness in downtown South Bend.” In addition to the Exterior Enhancement Grant, DTSB still offers the New Business Interior Improvement Grant and the Retail Assistance Mini-Grant. Both of these grants still operate on a first-come-first-served basis, however, all applications for 2013 funds must be received no later than October 1, 2013 with work completed by no later than December 15, 2013.