Brainerd businesses receive revitalization grants
10 projects with investments of nearly $300,000 to receive financial support
BRAINERD — Ten projects that will bring more than $300,000 in Brainerd main street improvements were recently approved by the Initiative Foundation as part of the Minnesota Main Street Revitalization program.
Since the start of the program, the Initiative Foundation approved 37 additional projects with investments totaling more than $18 million in Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Pine River and St. Cloud.
These projects submitted the necessary documentation to receive funding recommended by their local economic development authority and the Initiative Foundation.
The Brainerd projects include:
- Lakes Chiropractic, 413 S. Sixth St.: $36,000 for demolition to allow for clinic expansion. Total project cost: $120,000.
- Adapt Family Martial Arts, 217 Washington St.: $3,000 for the purchase of specialized flooring. Total project cost: $10,000.
- David Pueringer Rental Properties: The project will remodel eight rental housing properties in the downtown Brainerd area:
- 301 S Seventh St.: $18,191 for new doors, windows and an electric upgrade for rental apartment units. Total project cost: $60,639.
- 209-211 S Seventh St.: $8,608 for a new roof, kick plates on doors, and an awning on this four-unit apartment building that includes commercial space. Total project cost: $28,633.
- 616 Front St.: $7,926 for a new roof, new fire doors and kick plates on this building with 10 apartment units and three commercial spaces. Total project cost: $26,422.
- 1702 Norwood St.: $5,057 for a new apartment building roof. Total project cost: $16,859.
- 201 S Seventh St.: $4,176 to install a new roof on this apartment and commercial building. Total project cost: $13,922.
- 214 S Seventh St.: $3,809 to install a new roof on the unit, which includes four rental apartments and one commercial space. Total project cost: $12,696.
- 1624 Oak St: $2,362 to install a new garage door and roof on this apartment building. Total project cost: $7,875.
- 1610 Maple St.: $815 to install a new garage door at this rental home. Total project cost: $2,719.
The funding is supported by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, which allocated $4.5 million to the Initiative Foundation for Central Minnesota economic development opportunities. The Minnesota Main Street Revitalization Program provides for 30% matching grants and guaranteed loans for economic and redevelopment needs that have arisen since the March 2020 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses must have or secure the remaining 70% of funding.
The Initiative Foundation worked with Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Pine River and St. Cloud to identify corridors that experienced COVID-19 impacts — from travel and tourism businesses to site improvement to upgrading commercial property vacancies. Funding can be used for demolition and site preparation, engineering and design, repair, renovation and construction. All projects must be completed within a 36-month window that will close in July 2025.
About 40 remaining projects have been recommended for funding and are still securing bids or developing the documentation required to receive a grant. Anticipated total economic development allocations are as follows for each eligible community:
- Brainerd: $765,600,
- Cold Spring: $505,750,
- Little Falls: $632,130,
- Long Prairie $493,000,
- Pine River: $425,500,
- St. Cloud and East St. Cloud: $1.5 million.
Additional grants announced by the Initiative Foundation
- Brainerd Family YMCA, 602 Oak St: A $100,000 grant and $40,000 Otto Bremer grant for repair and renovation of building adjacent to the YMCA to create a new child care center. The center will expand the number of children the YMCA can serve while also addressing an urgent community need. Total project cost: $1,456,000.
- Stangler Properties, LLC, 515 S. Ninth St: A $60,000 grant to construct two new units of affordable rental housing in the downtown corridor. Total project cost: $200,000.
- Faith in Action-Cass County Community Health Connections: $5,000 to support Cass County Faith in Action to build knowledge of community resources in the rural, low-income area it serves.
- Community Development of Morrison County, 316 E. Broadway Ave.: A $3,000 grant for replacement windows. Total project cost: $10,000.
- Purple Carrot Market, 53 E. Broadway Ave.: A $15,636 grant to install custom boilers and to prepare architectural and construction documents for a planned owner-member food cooperative. The total project cost: $52,121.
- Little Falls Plumbing and Heating, 120 Second St. NE: A $27,450 grant to replace the roofing on the building. Total project cost: $91,500.
- First Avenue Advertising, 122, First Ave. SE: A $12,232 grant for removal of asbestos siding and installation of new siding and windows. Total project cost: $40,774.
- Associates in Eyecare, 424 Barclay Ave.: A $3,300 grant for interior renovations and a bathroom remodel. Total project cost: $11,000.
- Bonham Construction and Maintenance Services, Inc., 173 W. Barclay Ave.: A $180,000 grant for the renovation of a former Alco building to become the site of a Tractor Supply Company business. Total project cost: $600,000.
- Britton Properties LLC, 415 Barclay Ave.: A $5,000 grant to repave and improve slope of an upper parking lot. This building is leased by Central Minnesota Dermatology. Total project cost: $23,595.
- LOML Properties LLC, 209 Barclay Ave.: A $15,000 grant to renovate a commercial building. Total project cost: $50,000.
- Staples Motley Area Community Foundation: $2,500 to the Central Minnesota Council of Boy Scouts of America to redevelop scouting programs.
- Wadena Development Authority-Lead for Wadena Fellowship for Artisan Economic Development: $4,000 to support a Lead for Minnesota student for a second year to organize community development opportunities around a creative economy theme.