District Nights

Live music filled the air in Downtown O’Fallon this summer as families gathered to enjoy food, drinks, entertainment and family-friendly activities, all in a space that spans three bustling blocks. District Nights was a highly successful event series, with an attendance of more than 5,000 people per event. It united the city, local businesses and… Continue reading

Live music filled the air in Downtown O’Fallon this summer as families gathered to enjoy food, drinks, entertainment and family-friendly activities, all in a space that spans three bustling blocks.

District Nights was a highly successful event series, with an attendance of more than 5,000 people per event. It united the city, local businesses and residents in a collaborative partnership that fostered a small-town community feel. The City of O’Fallon provided the musical entertainment, and the Downtown District did the rest! The event was an excellent boost for participating companies, prompting discussions about hosting more downtown events in the future.

 

If you missed out on the fun, don’t worry. There will be a place for you in the future.

We are thrilled that the series will return in 2024 with even more excitement and unforgettable memories! Be sure to mark your calendar for the following dates, all taking place from 5 to 9 PM:

  • June 6
  • July 11
  • August 1

Don’t forget to check out the calendar for other events throughout the year.

2022 Facade Improvements Complete

Since 2019, the City of O’Fallon has conducted the Downtown Façade Improvement Grant Program, a one-of-a-kind program designed to breathe a new life into the Downtown District through the improvement of existing building exteriors.  As the City nears the start of the next round of Façade Improvement Grants, we encourage you to review the successes… Continue reading

Since 2019, the City of O’Fallon has conducted the Downtown Façade Improvement Grant Program, a one-of-a-kind program designed to breathe a new life into the Downtown District through the improvement of existing building exteriors. 

As the City nears the start of the next round of Façade Improvement Grants, we encourage you to review the successes of the previous award winners from 2019-2021. Get Ready for the Next Round of Facade Improvement Grants – O’Fallon (ofallonillinois.org)

In 2021, two Downtown District buildings were awarded a façade improvement grant: 129 E. State Street (Three Sisters Crafts) and 101 S. Cherry Street (Le Ono). 

129 E. State Street – Three Sisters Crafts

April Barnes is the owner of Three Sisters Crafts and the building located at 129 E. State Street, which was awarded a façade improvement grant. Three Sisters Crafts is a great Downtown District store offering whimsical gifts, craft supplies and classes on Saturday afternoons!  The award-winning application from Barnes included new larger windows, framing around the windows, light fixtures, signage, and new siding.  When asked how this grant has impacted her business, Barnes stated, “The locals have given me amazing compliments about my new store front. This has increased the volume of customers tremendously, especially on Saturdays. The new store front and signage has attracted customers attending the Vine Street Market.” Barnes explained that in the first round of the façade improvement grants, she was not awarded. While disappointed, she continued to work with the Community Development Department to ensure that her next submittal was more competitive. Despite the setback, Barnes, “It was worth the wait”. When asked if she would recommend this grant to others located in the Downtown District, she said “Absolutely! The City’s guidelines will assist you through the design process.” July 2024 will be Barnes’ 25th year in business in the Downtown District and now she has a building ready to celebrate!


101 S. Cherry Street – Le Ono

Jon Greenstreet purchased a former labor union’s office located at 101 S. Cherry Street and converted this building into Le Ono. Le Ono opened this summer and has not disappointed, taking familiar French dishes and elevating them utilizing Polynesian ingredients producing a distinctly different dining experience. Greenstreet is a familiar name in the Downtown District, as he is the owner of Bike Surgeon and Gears at 201 E. State Street.  Greenstreet’s façade improvement application made several upgrades to the Le Ono building, including a new front gable, an outdoor dining area, windows, siding, lighting, and signage. When Greenstreet was asked what attracted him to this building, he stated, “location was key. We wanted to bring a one-of-a-kind cuisine to the downtown area.” Greenstreet has received wonderful comments about Le Ono and what the revamped building has done for the downtown area. He stated,” It has added to the vibrancy the downtown.” In addition to the updated facade, the improvements to the interior parallel the quality of the restaurant’s exterior. “The façade grant provided the spark that got the ball rolling for this location.” Greenstreet made the decision to maintain the building, looking to preserve the authentic character of the Downtown District and it is a decision that has given the restaurant some character.  Greenstreet would recommend this program to everyone. “It is very beneficial for small businesses that may not have this improvement in their budgets. It is a very powerful program”.

Joining alongside Greenstreet at Le Ono is head chef Talani Moe. Joining in the Downtown District momentum had been a goal of Moe’s for some time and now thanks to the façade improvement program he has a great building to share his unique food and cocktails. Moe stated, “O’Fallon is where I wanted my business to be, and we are here now. There is a great crowd here and I love to share my passion with the community.”


The façade improvement program has continued to transform the Downtown District. In 2022, the City was able to award four buildings a façade improvement grant. So be on the look out for improvements to these addresses: 

  • 114 W. State Street
  • 117 E. State Street
  • 118 E. Washington Street 
  • 220 W. State Street

With all this success, The City is excited to announce the next application round for Façade Improvement Grants will be opening on November 6, 2023. We encourage anyone that is interested and has property located in the Central City TIF District to apply. Please check The City’s website for updates and if you have any questions you can email [email protected].

 

2021 Facade Improvements Complete

The 2021 round of Downtown District Façade Improvement Grant projects has been completed. These projects included Williamsburg Square, Kruep Construction, and Prime Service Cleaners. These three projects are special not only because they are beautiful examples of what the Façade Improvement Grant Program is intended to do, but because they kicked off during the long,… Continue reading

The 2021 round of Downtown District Façade Improvement Grant projects has been completed. These projects included Williamsburg Square, Kruep Construction, and Prime Service Cleaners. These three projects are special not only because they are beautiful examples of what the Façade Improvement Grant Program is intended to do, but because they kicked off during the long, challenging days of the Covid-19 pandemic when building materials such as glass, railing, and gutters were becoming scarce. However, O’Fallon Downtown businessowners are nothing short of resilient. These three projects pressed on despite material and labor shortages and the results are absolutely stunning.

Williamsburg Square, located on the corner of North Oak Street and West State Street, is home to art studio Courage and Grace and Congressman Mike Bost’s office. This grand building’s facelift was done with attention to both detail and history. Inspired to apply for a grant by one of her tenants, owner Cindy Hawkins applied for the grant first to improve the railing on the wide front porch. Working with local historian, Brian Keller, and her contractor, Hawkins learned more about her 1860’s era building and decided to include design elements that would pay homage to the past.

Williamsburg Square was once the largest general store in O’Fallon, operated by the Tiedemann sons until 1902.

Tiedemann Store – Approx 1910
Louis Tiedemann, Henry Tiedemann, & Oscar Krause – Approx 1900

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to the railing work, the building owner added period appropriate shutters and copper gutters. Despite the supply chain issues, Hawkins was pleased that, with a little patience, no substitutions or compromises were needed.

Williamsburg Square – Before
Williamsburg Square – After
Williamsburg Square – Porch Details

Kruep Construction, nestled in the middle of the 100 block of East State Street, has a unique history too. This building was not originally built at 121 East State Street, but rather was picked up and moved to the site and squeezed in between to two neighboring buildings. The building later went on to house Loyet’s Shoe Store. Current owner, Don Kruep, was removing the old soffits when he discovered the original Loyet’s Family Shoe Store sign underneath the front awning. Kruep remembers visiting Loyet’s for shoes as a child and was excited to uncover this piece of history.

Original Loyet’s Family Shoe Store sign revealed during renovations
Loyet’s 1961 – State Street looking west

121 East State Street was transformed with new lights, a stone base, EIFS, a parapet wall, and storefront windows.

Kruep Construction – Before
Kruep Construction – After

Prime Service Cleaners, the final project to be completed this round, was completely transformed with the removal of the large, shingled awning.

Prime Service Cleaners – Before
Awning Removal in Progress at Prime Service Cleaners

In its place is a new fabric awning with scalloped black and white trim that flutters in the breeze. Cynthia Carson, co-owner of the building, was inspired by Parisian boutique storefronts, and accordingly chose a clean, tidy black and white color scheme with complimentary lighting and signage.

Prime Service Cleaners – After
Prime Service Cleaners Mural

The black and white mural on the north side of the building and the small, matching awning on the south side carries the theme around the building and brings visual interest to previously overlooked parts of the structure.

One of the many benefits of the Façade Program is that it often results in additional investment and building improvements beyond the scope of the exterior renovations. Prime Service Cleaners owners Kent and Cynthia Carson continued their remodel inside the store, installing new flooring, new service counters, and welcoming decorations. Hawkins is also making additional improvements, adding new, matching railing on the North Oak Street side of her building to continue the look from West State Street.

Considering your own façade improvement project? Hawkins stated she “would encourage anyone thinking about a façade improvement to pursue this support from the City.” She has enjoyed very positive feedback from tenants and friends about the update, as well.

The improvements proposed by the 2022 winners of Façade Improvement Grants, Three Sisters Crafts at 129 East State Street and 101 Cherry at 101 South Cherry Street, are already underway. Be sure watch these buildings as they transform.

For more information on the Façade Improvement Grant Program by click here or contact Community Development at (618) 624-4500 x 4 or via email at [email protected].

Want to read up on other past winning projects?

Visit: Downtown Façade Improvement Success Stories – O’Fallon (ofallonillinois.org)

Central City TIF Boosts Sales Tax Revenue

The heart of O’Fallon is the Downtown District. Located roughly at the intersection of State and Lincoln, the Downtown District defines the O’Fallon’s identity and is the barometer of community health. The City of O’Fallon has invested heavily in downtown development in partnership with downtown businesses, and we are seeing amazing results. The latest sales… Continue reading

The heart of O’Fallon is the Downtown District. Located roughly at the intersection of State and Lincoln, the Downtown District defines the O’Fallon’s identity and is the barometer of community health.

The City of O’Fallon has invested heavily in downtown development in partnership with downtown businesses, and we are seeing amazing results. The latest sales tax report shows that sales tax revenues increased 65% from fiscal year 2021 to 2022. Part of this reporting period was during COVID-19 restrictions, but even so, sales tax revenue in the Downtown District has increased 189% since the Central City Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District was created in 2014. The chart below shows the sales tax and EAV growth since the Central City TIF was established.

The Downtown District’s remarkable success is not due to one thing, but rather a multitude of efforts by the City, Chamber of Commerce, businesses, volunteers, and the general public. Here are some the major milestones in the downtown renaissance:

Central City Tax Increment Financing District (2014): The TIF created tax incentives for business owners to redevelop their properties.

Downtown O’Fallon Area Action Plan (2015): A Strategic Plan was developed that received extensive input from the community on how to improve downtown O’Fallon.

O’Fallon Station (2018): As part of the Destination O’Fallon initiative, O’Fallon Station was constructed by the City to provide year-round activities that can be both indoor and outdoor.

Vine Street Market (2019): The weekly farmer’s market located at O’Fallon Station has grown to be a regional attraction with more than 100 vendors and a multitude of products.

Downtown District (2018): A group of downtown business owners banded together to establish an organized effort to promote downtown. The group partnered with the City and the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce to provide a structure and funding mechanism to sponsor events and festivals. The initiative received an East-West Gateway Council of Governments “Outstanding Local Government Achievement Award” in 2019.

Downtown District Façade Improvement Program (2019): Funded through the Central City TIF, this is a matching grant program administered by the City to improve the exterior appearance of downtown buildings. So far, eight properties have receiving funding to improve their buildings.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the support of O’Fallon residents. They are the ones who committed to shop in Downtown District stores, eat at the restaurants, and visit the Vine Street Market. We are fortunate to live in a community that cares and makes O’Fallon such a great place to live.

Get Ready for the Next Round of Facade Improvement Grants

November is fast approaching and so is another opportunity to apply for the Downtown District Façade Improvement Program – a matching grant program to promote exterior renovations of commercial properties in Downtown O’Fallon. The City of O’Fallon is excited to announce that the third Façade Improvement Grant application period will open on November 1, 2021.… Continue reading

November is fast approaching and so is another opportunity to apply for the Downtown District Façade Improvement Program – a matching grant program to promote exterior renovations of commercial properties in Downtown O’Fallon. The City of O’Fallon is excited to announce that the third Façade Improvement Grant application period will open on November 1, 2021.

The program has been a great success and, so far, the City has been able to award grants for eight impressive projects. The first round of façade improvements included RTI Barge at 127 W. 1st St., 1st St. Lounge at 119 W. 1st St., Steven Mueller Florist at 101 W. 1st St., The Outdoorsman at 127 E. 1st St., and Lehman’s Barber Shop at 123 E. State St. To read more about the success of this first round, click here.

Round two included three projects total.

Recently completed of the three is the Kruep Construction building at 121 E. State St., with a whole new roofline, gooseneck lighting, an awning, stonework, and new windows.

Kruep Construction Before and After

The two other award-winning projects, Prime Service Cleaners at 306 S. Lincoln Ave. and Williamsburg Square on the corner of State St. and Cherry, are both currently underway – be on the lookout for big changes at both locations!

Prime Service Cleaners – Old Facade has been removed
Prime Service Cleaners – Proposed Facade

 

Williamsburg Square – Before
Williamsburg Square progress includes new vertical siding, black soffits, black shutters on the second story, and goose neck lights.

Interested? Want to learn more? Apply for the 2021-2022 Downtown Façade Improvement Program Grant by clicking here or contact Community Development at (618) 624-4500 x 4 or via email at [email protected].

 

Keystone Place at Richland Creek

The recently opened Keystone Place at Richland Creek might just be one of O’Fallon’s best kept secrets – but it won’t stay that way for long. Passing by on Frank-Scott Parkway you may have seen a beautiful new development that looks a lot like a high-end luxury apartment complex. While everything about Keystone Place is… Continue reading

The recently opened Keystone Place at Richland Creek might just be one of O’Fallon’s best kept secrets – but it won’t stay that way for long.

Passing by on Frank-Scott Parkway you may have seen a beautiful new development that looks a lot like a high-end luxury apartment complex. While everything about Keystone Place is top-notch and luxurious, it is not your typical apartment dwelling. Keystone Place at Richland Creek is a senior independent, assisted, and memory care facility and is eager to welcome new residents and become an engaged participant in the O’Fallon community.

“Keystone Place at Richland Creek continues a mission for our residents to provide a variety of housing options to stay engaged in our community” stated Mayor Herb Roach. “This development is a great asset to our community and addresses goals identified through our public process in the 2040 Master Plan,” said Roach.

Keystone Place contains 64 independent living units, 66 assisted living units, and 19 memory care units. The development was granted zoning approval by the O’Fallon City Council in June 2019. Construction commenced on the four-story building shortly after and wrapped up early this year.

Keystone Place at Richland Creek’s independent living provides one and two bedroom units, all showcasing the Keystone signature “sunroom” which consists of a sunny nook big enough for two armchairs, framed by a decorative column on either side and connected by a graceful archway.

Each unit also offers a dedicated private patio (1st floor) or balcony (2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors) providing for fresh air and interesting views from each.

Aside from the spacious, well-appointed rooms, Keystone Place provides a wide variety of amenities.

From a multi-chair beauty salon to a theater with classic movie posters and a popcorn machine to a full-service “pub,” residents have numerous options to socialize and relax. A gym area stocked with physical therapy equipment even allows for on-site physical rehabilitation.

The Keystone way, according to Greg Gelzinnis, Senior Living Counselor, is family and community oriented. Gelzinnis added “I am so very excited to be a part of the Keystone Place Team and look forward to sharing in the senior living journey of our guests.”

 

As an organization, Keystone Place at Richland Creek is looking forward to partnering with the community to connect residents with the high-quality amenities O’Fallon has to offer and, in turn, provide residents with a vital connection to the city they live in.

If you would like to learn more about Keystone Place, please visit their website or call 618-790-7436.

City of O’Fallon Downtown District Economic Impact/Beautification Award

Not even a pandemic could hinder the progress of the City of O’Fallon and the Downtown District. Our joint efforts to revitalize Downtown, and our shared successes, are not going unnoticed. In April of 2021, the Chamber of Commerce presented the Downtown District and the City of O’Fallon with an award as a part of… Continue reading

Not even a pandemic could hinder the progress of the City of O’Fallon and the Downtown District. Our joint efforts to revitalize Downtown, and our shared successes, are not going unnoticed. In April of 2021, the Chamber of Commerce presented the Downtown District and the City of O’Fallon with an award as a part of the Chamber’s annual Salute to Business Awards, recognizing two of the organizations’ missions: Economic Impact and Beautification.

The Economic Impact portion of the award takes a few things into consideration, such as jobs created and retained, capital investment for new construction and remodels, and projects or programs that stimulated community development. The Downtown District group and City staff share a common goal of bringing a sense of community through events, beautification, and a renewed vision for Downtown O’Fallon.

The construction and marketing of a community event venue in the Downtown District, named O’Fallon Station, has contributed to the growing economic inertia of the Downtown District. O’Fallon Station is known as a space “built by the community, for the community” and is yet another testament to the collaboration between the Downtown District and the City. O’Fallon Station serves as both an anchor and a springboard to renewed energy in the heart of O’Fallon. The building is intended for both public and private events and is also home to O’Fallon’s weekly Vine Street Market, which offers local produce, treats, and gifts every Saturday from May through October.

In addition to O’Fallon Station, the Downtown District and the City of O’Fallon have collaborated on a variety of events to encourage both locals and visitors to experience Downtown O’Fallon. Some of these events include “Witches & Wizards Night Out,” “Tinsel Around Town,” “BaconFest,” and even a “Leap Day Treasure Hunt” in which City Hall was one of the treasure hunt stops. More recently, the groups teamed up to host “Chalk it Up to Art & BazaArt,” a chalk art contest and festival held in the Downtown District, filled with food, music, activities, prizes, and local art. The influence of these successful projects that once started as just visions is truly incredible, transforming Downtown O’Fallon into a desirable place to be.

The receipt of the Beautification Award is attributed to the many efforts O’Fallon and the Downtown District have made to improve the aesthetics of Downtown. Once you set foot in the Downtown District, you will notice the cheerful yellow boxes on the sidewalks letting you know you are in the Downtown District. String lights have been added across First Street just in time for summer outdoor dining and soft-lit evening strolls through the District. The O’Fallon Parks and Recreation Department designs and maintains creative, striking floral displays year-round that add to the visual appeal of Downtown

 

There is no doubt that the City’s Façade Improvement Program also contributed to the receipt of this award. Launched in the fall of 2019, the matching grant program has paved the way for eight downtown businesses to remodel the exterior of their buildings.      

And if that is not enough “beautification,” check out the unique Downtown District mural at Steven Mueller’s Florist (and be sure to keep an eye out for more in the future).

The City of O’Fallon and the Downtown District are incredibly honored to have received this recognition from the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce. The revitalization of the Downtown is truly a collaborative effort, with so many individuals playing a part to make a difference. In no way are we done looking for more ways to improve the community we cherish, so be sure to stay tuned for what the Downtown District has in store!

For a video of the award presentation and a word from the Mayor, please visit the O’Fallon Shiloh Chamber of Commerce website.

Birch Market O’Fallon

For those late nights at the office when cooking dinner is just another item on your “to-do” list or when a savory, pick-me-up snack is essential to get you through a dreadful afternoon, Birch Market just might be the answer you (and your tastebuds) have been craving! What started as Birch Culinary, Co. (a St.… Continue reading

For those late nights at the office when cooking dinner is just another item on your “to-do” list or when a savory, pick-me-up snack is essential to get you through a dreadful afternoon, Birch Market just might be the answer you (and your tastebuds) have been craving!

What started as Birch Culinary, Co. (a St. Louis based catering group) has expanded to include a new market on the Illinois side of the river. The idea of Birch Market – a gourmet carryout bakery and deli – was crafted by owners Greg and Christie Maggi, both professional chefs.

When searching for a location for their new business concept, the Maggis were looking for the family-oriented atmosphere that O’Fallon embraces. Intrigued with the energy and support pouring out of the Downtown District, the Maggis knew Birch Market would fit in perfectly. The Maggis found just the right location at 227 West First Street, a completely remodeled building that boasts contemporary designs and is within walking distance of everything in Downtown O’Fallon, including the successful Vine Street Market.

Birch Market’s specialty is to create “a relaxed, convenient meal option that offers high quality and chef-driven food” says Greg. The couple finds joy in making dinner and events easier so that people can spend less time cooking, and more with family and loved ones. Christie affirms, “it’s a chef’s meal, so customers do not have to feel bad about not spending the time in the kitchen.”

 

Starting this June, Greg and Christie invite you to begin your morning at the bakery counter to grab a pastry and coffee or visit the sandwich station for an original sandwich or salad for a fresh lunch to look forward to. Need an evening meal? The Maggis will even make sure your dinner plans are covered with high-quality prepared dishes such as gourmet lasagna. Best of all, it just takes popping the dish in your oven at home after a busy day so you can spend more time with your friends, family, and pets, instead of your stovetop.

“We welcome Birch Market to O’Fallon and are excited to see what they bring to the Downtown District,” says Mayor Herb Roach.

Hungry yet? Check out their website http://birchculinaryco.com/birch-market/ for further updates and what all they have to offer!

For additional information on the City of O’Fallon, please visit www.ofallonillinois.org.

Revela of O’Fallon

The senior living management company, Premier Senior Living, has decided to make O’Fallon its first Illinois destination for a new assisted living and memory care community. Revela of O’Fallon is a 92-unit, 89,000 square foot development, which is the first phase of the proposed 3-phased project to encompass the 92-bed assisted living & memory care… Continue reading

The senior living management company, Premier Senior Living, has decided to make O’Fallon its first Illinois destination for a new assisted living and memory care community. Revela of O’Fallon is a 92-unit, 89,000 square foot development, which is the first phase of the proposed 3-phased project to encompass the 92-bed assisted living & memory care building, a 30-unit independent care building, and 18 independent living cottages.

“When it comes to senior lifestyles and care, Premier Senior Living is leading the way in providing lifestyles and services that are empowering, encouraging, and engaging for our residents, our families, and our staff. We are pleased to have the support and active involvement of the City of O’Fallon and, together, we can make O’Fallon home throughout all phases of life” said Eric Hadley, Chief Operating Officer of Premier Senior Living.

Revela of O’Fallon is expecting to break ground on the project in February 2021 and expects to begin welcoming residents into new homes in April 2022.

“This project already addresses a goal frequently discussed within our 2040 Master Plan by ensuring residents have optimal housing during whatever stage of life they may be in,” says Mayor Herb Roach. “O’Fallon is proud to have Premier Senior Living developing here on Seven Hills Road. With the management company being based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, this is the third new project being developed by firms that were not previously located in the Illinois or St. Louis market.”

The Revela of O’Fallon development is a part of a larger 26.756-acre mixed used development which will feature future office space, villas, and single-family homes. The development is located along Seven Hills Road, just north of the O’Fallon Public Safety facility and YMCA.

If you would like to find out more information about Revela of O’Fallon, visit www.premierseniorliving.com.

For additional information on the City of O’Fallon, please visit www.ofallonillinois.org.

Downtown Façade Improvement Success Stories

In November 2019, the City of O’Fallon launched the Downtown Façade Improvement Grant Program, a one-of-a-kind program designed to breathe new life into the Downtown District through the improvement of existing building exteriors. In the inaugural application round, five buildings in the Downtown District received new and improved exteriors. The program immediately provided the Downtown… Continue reading

In November 2019, the City of O’Fallon launched the Downtown Façade Improvement Grant Program, a one-of-a-kind program designed to breathe new life into the Downtown District through the improvement of existing building exteriors.

In the inaugural application round, five buildings in the Downtown District received new and improved exteriors. The program immediately provided the Downtown District with a dramatically different look and feel.

As the City nears the start of the next round of Façade Improvement Grants, everyone should take some time to review the successes with some of the award winners.

Lehman’s Barber Shop – After
Lehman’s Barber Shop – Before

Monica and Tim Vecera of Lehman’s Barber Shop at 123 E. State Street made many improvements to their building, including new doors, a brick veneer, an awning addition, exterior lighting and fresh paint. When asked why they chose to take on such a project, Monica explained that they “always wanted to update the building and when the City offered an incentive, that sealed the deal. Our building is part of downtown and [we] wanted to make it an attractive location.”

As the work has neared completion, customers and the public alike have taken notice. The feedback has all been positive and, according to Monica, “we love our building as it is nearing completion. [We] can’t wait for the finished project. It’s going to look amazing. [We look forward to] enjoying the new atmosphere of the Barber Shop and for Destinations By Ellen. A nice work environment lifts people’s spirits.”

The Veceras found the experience to be great overall and they have learned from the process, too. Their parting advice to anyone who is considering a façade renovation? “We encourage it. You need to have professionals guide you to make the best decision for your look and budget.”

The Outdoorsman – Before
The Outdoorsman – After

Gary Ahle of The Outdoorsman, located at 127 E. First Street, built an addition to his longstanding business in 2017. He used the Façade Grant to update the existing building to be more cohesive with the addition. This included the addition of new windows, matching awnings, a new main door, and gooseneck lighting.

Mueller Florist, located at 101 W. First Street, may be one of the most visible of all the Façade Improvement projects, having street frontage on First, Lincoln, and Second Street. Steven Mueller improved his building by replacing worn awnings with new, repairing doors and windows along Lincoln and Second Street, and tying it altogether with a contemporary paint color and new signage. This fresh look calls attention to some interesting architectural features of the building as well.

Steven Mueller Florist – Before
Steven Mueller Florist – After

Separate from the Façade Grant, but worth noting is the collaboration between the City and Mueller Florist to display a new Downtown District mural on the side of the building facing Lincoln. This mural features the Downtown District logo and bright red poppies just waiting for the next photo opp.

Downtown District Mural

Tom and Tracy Moreland of 1st Street Lounge located, at 119 W. First Street, also shared their experience with the City. 1st Street Lounge celebrated their grand opening in March and revealed their newly renovated interior and exterior. The Moreland’s improvements included new siding and creating a 10-foot wide by 8-foot high opening in the front of the building to accommodate a modern glass, roll-up door. The Morelands chose to invest in their building so that they could improve the look and “bring in the natural light to brighten the inside.” Tracy explained a unique challenge to this particular façade renovation included securing the building front while waiting for the garage door company to install the new glass door. She complimented her contractor, Kruep Construction, for keeping their minds at ease throughout the project.

Customers love the large glass door and the Morelands receive frequent compliments on it. The Morelands love their building too and are grateful for the opportunity to improve the building. According to Tracy, “every day is a new day” since COVID-19 started right around the time they opened. Going forward, the Morelands look forward to doing business in the City and settling into “normal.” Finally, the Morelands recommend the façade improvement program and suggest future applicants “just have all your paperwork in order” and the rest is easy.

First Street Lounge – After
First Street Lounge – Before

Perhaps the most dramatic façade renovation occurred at 227 W. First Street. This project involved saw-cutting off the entire, rock-veneer face of the building. The building, originally constructed in the 1920s, has seen a variety of building trends, but now boasts a sleek, modern façade with mixed elements of wide glass windows and metal accents. A quick visit with business owner, Rick Huskey, allowed us a unique opportunity to look out through the new glass façade and appreciate the full effect the exterior renovation has made to the interior of the building as well.

227 West First Street – After
227 West First Street – Before

With all this success, The City is excited to announce the next application round for Façade Improvement Grants will be opening on November 2, 2020. We encourage anyone that is interested and has property located in the Central City TIF District to apply. Please check The City’s website for updates and if you have any questions you can email [email protected].