ST. CLOUD -- Some grant money has been made available to help revitalize properties along and near St. Germain Street in St. Cloud.

The Minnesota Department of Economic Development has awarded a $4.5 million Main Street grant to the Initiative Foundation for main street corridors in Little Falls, Cold Spring, Long Prarie, Brainerd, Pine River and St. Cloud.

St. Cloud Economic Development Coordinator Cathy Mehelich says the focus in St. Cloud will be from Cooper Avenue on the west end of St. Germain Street to just past Val's on the east end.

Applications can come from businesses, property owners, or developers doing projects within that corridor.  The program can fund up to 30 percent of project costs in the form of matching grants.

Mehelich says the money can be used for repairs and renovations of buildings, new construction, landscaping and streetscaping, demolition work, site prep and soft costs. The money doesn't include buying real estate.

Image courtesy of the city of St. Cloud
Image courtesy of the city of St. Cloud
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She says the EDA board will be promoting the program and make recommendations to the Initiative Foundation, but there has already been a lot of initial interest.

There's been a great deal of interest generated from the downtown business community already about this program and how it could really benefit from being able to leverage private investment for the benefit of the downtown.

Mehelich says she hopes to be able to start awarding money to projects in less than six months.

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