NEW IBERIA, LA-Louisiana Main Street assists historic commercial districts in their revitalization efforts. Funded by the state, the program operates under the umbrella of the National Main Street Center, an arm of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, DC. and is part of Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne's Office of Cultural Development, Division of Historic Preservation.
The state program provides revitalization technical assistance in the areas of economic development, exterior, interior, streetscape design, promotion and organization. These services are available at no charge to individual merchants and commercial property owners whose businesses are located within the boundaries of 34 designated Main Street districts statewide.
Louisiana Main Street offers Redevelopment Incentive Grants as part of the revitalization effort to offset overall project costs and is a dollar-for-dollar matching grant. Physical conditions of our historic commercial districts reflect the economic and social health of our communities and revitalized historic commercial districts restore and ensure pride of place, keep the heart and soul of the community alive and vibrant, and enrich our community, parish, and state assets.
Louisiana Main Street Redevelopment Incentive Grants stimulate local economies by utilizing local tradespersons, design professionals, engineers and suppliers to reconstruct storefronts, restore interiors, and rehab empty buildings for new commercial ventures that generate tax revenues throughout the state. Revitalizing historic commercial districts is progressive, sustainable economic development that directly enhances quality of life; an investment in community.
Despite deep budget cuts to the Main Street program, $60,000 (down from $100K) in Redevelopment Incentive Grants are being awarded in FY 2012-13 to nine projects in designated Main Street communities throughout the state. 2012-13 grant support from Louisiana Main Street offsets total statewide commercial district building improvements exceeding $3M.
Project locations: Crowley, St. Martinville, Springhill, New Iberia, New Roads, Winnsboro, Ponchatoula, and O C Haley Blvd and N Rampart St in New Orleans. Grants were reviewed by an independent panel comprised of professionals working in historic preservation and related fields. Panelists are neither members of designated Louisiana Main Street communities, nor employees of the Louisiana Main Street program or Division of Historic Preservation.
Panelists consider, among other things, the degree of immediate economic and/or visual impact the project brings to the Main Street district in order to maximize the return on tax dollars reinvested in community revitalization projects. The need for Redevelopment Incentive Grant assistance increases each year as we become more aware of the importance of revitalizing our historic commercial districts, but fewer dollars in the pot makes the funds all the more competitive.
Each year, the New Iberia Main Street Program solicits Redevelopment Incentive Grant applications from downtown building and/or business owners located within the boundaries of the Downtown Commercial Historic District. The Louisiana Main Street Program assists historic commercial districts with their revitalization efforts and offers two types of competitive grants: a $10,000 grant for major projects or a $2,500 grant for minor projects. Over the past nineteen (19) years the LA. State Main Street Office has awarded a total of twenty-seven (27) downtown buildings in New Iberia a total of $118,208.00 grant funds which have generated over $30 million in private investment in downtown New Iberia's successful revitalization efforts.
The New Iberia downtown Main Street commercial historic district is bounded by the Bayou Teche on the north, Center Street on the east, Washington Street and Pershing St. on the south and Hopkins Street on the west. For more information about the New Iberia Main Street Program or the Louisiana Main Street Redevelopment Incentive Grants please contact Jane Braud, Main Street Program Director at 337-369-2330 or by e-mail at email@example.com.