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Kendallville, Indiana

Kendallville named a 2021 PreservINg Main Street Pilot Community 

This program will provide the City of Kendallville an additional “tool” in their economic vitality toolbox that will help stimulate our local economy using an innovative funding mechanism to preserve downtown historic buildings. The city is eligible for implementation of downtown preservation projects and operational expenses up to $2 million through OCRA’s Community Development Block Grant program. (The community had to put up $200,000, too, a goal that was met in 2022!)


The program also includes multiple capacity and leadership building opportunities through a partnership with Main Street America, Indiana Humanities, and Indiana Landmarks.

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The nature of being a Pilot Community is that we are pioneering this entire process. Many of the details we share here are subject to change. Historic Downtown Kendallville is committed to providing transparency and clear communication throughout. We appreciate your participation, undestanding, and patience.


  • What properties are eligible?
    Commercial properties located in the designated target area, also referred to as the Downtown TIF District, bordered by East Mitchell Street, Riley Street, North Oak Street, South State Street, West Rush Street, South Orchard Street (and a portion of Williams Street), to West Mitchell Street. Building owners must apply (not tenants) and commit to funding at least 15% of the project, if selected for funding. Applicants may be for-profit or non-profit entities.
  • How will recipients of funding be selected?
    An application will be made available for property owners to apply for funds. This application will seek to learn details about the scope of the proposed work on a property. Once the application is complete, if eligible, the the applicant will enter into a memorandum of understanding to confirm intent before free consultation(s) with design professionals are arranged (if needed) to assist with the creation of design renderings, project plans, and projected costs. Once design details are created and provided to the property owner, the owner will decide if they wish to proceed and commit to covering at least 15% of costs. At that point, if the project is approved for funding, the property owner will need to enter into a formal agreement to participate in the grant program. It is possible there may be more projects submitted than funding available, in which case grant partners will review all applicatinos and use criteria related to the objective of the grant to choose which projects will be funded. (These details are subject to change. Kendallville is a pilot community, so the process is a fluid one as we all learn and work through it together.)
  • How can funds be used?
    $2 million has been approved under the PreservINg Main Street grant to preserve, repair, restore, or rehabilitate permanent components of the facades/storefronts in downtown Kendallville. These funds are prioritized for big transformations that have a high impact. Funds can be used for renovations and restorations that are deemed "appropriate" to preserving the historic integrity of downtown. This might include tuckpointing brick, replacing brick, window and door reconstructions or restorations, removing false facades, restoring original facades, paint, entryways, lighting, and more. In special instances, funding may be available to eliminate safety code (mechanical, electrical) issues as well. Funds may not be used for work on the backs of buildings, roofs, or alley-facing facades. They may, however, be used on front and, for corner buildings that face a street, side facades. Non-permanent components such as awnings and signs are not eligible for funding under the PreservINg Main Street grant, but may be eligible for funding under Kendallville's Facade Grant program. Contact the Kendallville Redevelopment Commission (RDC) for more information about the city's facade grant program.
  • Can I still apply for other funds if I apply for this grant?
    Yes! The City of Kendallville Redevelopment Commission (RDC) will continue to offer the 50/50 Facade Grant program to eligible properties. This means a proposed project that includes a new awning and room, as well as brick restoration and new windows, could be eligible to receive funding from both programs. Contact the RDC for more information.
  • Who will do the renovation work?
    Projects selected for funding will be put out for bid in an effort to obtain at least three quotes from licensed contractors. Property owners who apply are encouraged to ask their preferred contractors to bid. Projects will be awarded to the "lowest and best" bidder. Property owners, unless licensed contractors, will not be reimbursed for work they do on their own property.
  • What is the timeline for the grant program?
    Generally speaking (schedules are subject to change): - Applications will open in fall 2021 (Applications closed on January 3, 2021) - Design consultations, plan development will take place winter 2021-22 - Contractors will be able to bid projects in Spring/Summer 2022 - Work must be complete within two years.
  • What other kinds of assistance is available for my downtown property?
    The City of Kendallville offers a Facade Grant program under which 50% of the costs of work on the exterior of a property in the eligible district may be reimbursed, including roof work, windows, brick work, paint, signage, awnings, and more. The Kendallville Redevelopment Commission (RDC) has set aside $300,000 in Facade Grant funding, to supplement the PreservINg Main Street $2 million grant award, to provide funding at a lower, 25/75 match for eligible projects. Contact us for more information. Learn more about downtown Preservation at
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