Blue Springs, Mo. – The Missouri Main Street Connection hosted the Evening of Excellence Awards on Thursday, July 31, to honor communities, individuals, businesses, cities and civic organizations that have invested skills and volunteer time to revitalize downtowns across Missouri.
At the ceremony, Blue Springs Downtown Alive! accepted the Outstanding Public Partner Award for a joint project completed by America’s Community Bank and the City of Blue Springs.
“We were honored that Downtown Alive! nominated the City for such a prestigious award,” said Mayor Pro Tem Susan Culpepper. “This project is a great example of public and private partnership to help restore a historic treasure in our downtown. I want to thank Wes Condron for reinvesting in our City and for his commitment to Downtown revitalization efforts.”
To launch a funding plan for improvements to a building in the downtown district, Downtown Alive! made formal presentations to the City Council before seeking a Community Development Block Grant. Using the "Preserving America" initiative which focuses on historic preservation and heritage tourism, the City Council approved allocation of $100,000 in matching CDBG grant funds, specifically allocated to the America's Community Bank restoration project. Having an aluminum façade since 1968, the building restoration project uncovered the original bricks and windows at street level and upper floor. With the help of an old photo, the contractor designed new cornices and parapet, re-creating the historic appearance of the building.
“The historic restoration of our building was a long-term goal for America’s Community Bank,” said Wes Condron, president of America’s Community Bank. “We are committed to the Blue Springs community, especially the downtown district. We look forward to serving this community in our historic home for years to come.”
Total investment in the project by the building owner was approximately $310,000. A tax abatement program was the second funding mechanism used to complete the project.
This project has been specifically identified in both the 1994 and 2006 downtown revitalization plans and was the first topic of discussion when downtown revitalization is discussed. Downtown Alive! supported the project believing that improving the aesthetic character of a large anchor building in the district would attract future renovations, benefit the neighborhood by increasing property values, and increase future investment into the district.
Also recognized at the Evening of Excellence ceremony was Deanna Gilbert who Downtown Alive! nominated as ‘Volunteer of the Year’ for her outstanding commitment as Chair of A Hollywood Affair, the first Piccadilly Gala.
For more information, please contact Blue Springs Downtown Alive (816) 228-2300.
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