First projects receive funds under the City’s Core Areas Community Improvement Plan

Posted on Wednesday October 06, 2021

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, Cambridge City Council approved the first three grant applications under the new Core Areas Community Improvement Plan program, allocating $278,820 in financial incentives to the property owners of two core area buildings. The program is part of several economic activities that the City has taken over the past year to boost COVID-19 recovery efforts.

Representing three of the five grant program areas, the building at 27 Queen St. E. is set to receive funds under the Commercial Property Improvement Grant and Commercial Building Restoration, Renovation and Improvement Grant, while the building at 15 Main St. will receive funding under the Mixed-Use Conversion and Restoration Grant. The funds for these grants will be allocated from the Core Areas Transformation Fund. One of the pillars of this fund is to provide for private sector stimulus funding to help bring about transformational change.

Proposed work for the building at 27 Queen St. E includes a complete renovation of the exterior that will provide a new façade and create a new entryway on the street creating a better aesthetic in the downtown core. Interior renovations are planned for two current commercial-use floors, updating the space for office use increasing the working population of Hespeler and traffic to the downtown area.

Extensive renovations to the entire building are proposed for 15 Main St. with a plan house additional commercial space on the ground floor, update the existing commercial units and revitalize the upper floors for residential uses. These renovation plans will visually enhance this historic property and breathe new life into the building that has been vacant for more than 10 years.

Launched in August of this year, the Core Areas Community Improvement Plan (CIP) 2021 offers a new suite of financial incentives to help support core area properties. The CIP's programs and initiatives facilitate the planning and financing of development activities that effectively use, reuse and revitalize lands, buildings and infrastructure.

The grants will serve to support a private investment of more than $3.1 million across the two projects, enhancing efforts to revitalize the core areas as downtown destinations to live, work and visit.

For more information and to apply for any of the CIP grants, visit the Invest Cambridge website.

Read the full report.