By Chelsea Bunker
The Wheat Ridge Business District (WRBD) has been a wonderful resource and partner to local economic development, specifically the brick-and-mortar businesses in Wheat Ridge.
Since it was founded in 2002, revitalization and improving commercial buildings in Wheat Ridge has been the mission and focus of the organization. Their matching grants are funded by the City of Wheat Ridge and cover projects in various categories, such as façade changes, exterior painting, landscaping, visual impact special projects, sign improvements, and even accessibility projects. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit with an all-volunteer board of directors, the WRBD has some exciting incentives for Wheat Ridge businesses and commercial properties in 2019.
The board of directors has announced an increase to the Revitalization Incentive Program matching grants, which are available ongoing and year-round. In 2019, available matching grant awards are increasing between 20 and 25 percent. Additionally, the WRBD will continue their Façade Plus Program in 2019. This program began in 2018 and awarded two businesses a total of $40,000 for significant façade improvements.
Take a drive down 44th Avenue and notice the new look of Raffaele’s Hair Studio (10401 W. 44th Ave.). Owner Raffaele Vitale had big dreams for the modest building that houses his business, and his Mediterranean Florentine design came to life with the help of the WRBD Façade Plus Program.
Next, head east and see how owner Ellen Daehnick has updated the building of Post Oak Hall (6195 W. 44th Ave.), which has been featured as “one of Wheat Ridge’s favorite attractions” in the Denver Post. With help from a Façade Plus Program grant, Ellen took the building from nondescript and industrial to something more reminiscent of a clean, rustic farmhouse. Pictures of both properties before and after the façade improvement projects can be found at www.WeAreLocalworks.org/business.
The 2019 continuance of the Façade Plus Program is perfect for businesses looking to invest in their properties in the City of Wheat Ridge. Information forms and letters of interest are due by March 5 for this larger grant funding. As always, WRBD’s Revitalization Incentive Program will accept applications throughout the year. Additional information and grant applications for both of these programs can be found at www.WeAreLocalworks.org/business.
Localworks is a partner in administering the program for Wheat Ridge Business District and is eager to help answer any questions. Please call us at (720) 259-1030.
Chelsea Bunker is the Community Engagement Coordinator for Localworks.