JEDCO, Jefferson Parish Announce Multiple Projects Approved Through Façade Improvement Program
JEFFERSON PARISH, La. – The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) and Jefferson Parish announce that over a dozen business makeover projects eligible for forgivable loans through the first-ever Jefferson Parish Façade Improvement Program. JEDCO and Jefferson Parish approved eight projects in Phase 1 and 11 projects in Phase 2 for a total of 19 projects being funded with more than $1.2 million. Details were shared in a press release.
Established in late 2017, the Facade Improvement Program was designed to stimulate economic development and private investment along a portion of the Jefferson Highway corridor and the Fat City area. The program incentivizes property owners in those high-growth locations to improve the character and physical appearance of their building exteriors and storefronts. Through the Jefferson Parish Community Development Department, JEDCO and the Parish awarded up to $50,000 to each individual project for a variety of exterior improvements, including replacing windows, redoing stucco exterior, installing new landscaping, applying a fresh coat of paint and installing new exterior lighting. The loans will be forgiven entirely after a three-year compliance period.
Over 30 companies applied to participate in the program. All proposals were evaluated by JEDCO and the Jefferson Parish Community Development Department based on certain criteria, including relevance of the proposed project to the Façade Improvement Program's overall mission, visual impact, community impact, economic impact, and the permanence of proposed improvements.
All approved projects must proceed through the Jefferson Parish Planning Department and the appropriate channels of Jefferson Parish Code Enforcement. The specific permits and planning requirements, as well as the length of the entire planning process, depends on the complexity of each individual project. Four Fat City-based projects are currently underway with additional projects set to begin later this year.
Phase One Projects include:
- Drago's Fire House (Fat City) – Business was awarded $50,000 for new stucco, a large windowed portion on the front and landscaping
- Cheers Sports Bar (Fat City) – Business was awarded $48,800 for removing dated windows and adjusting the exterior roof to appear more modern
- Drago's Properties I (Fat City) – Business was awarded $50,000 for new stucco, landscaping and signage
- Laurel Outdoor Advertising (Fat City) – Business was awarded $49,524 for new landscaping and modernized façade
- Drago's Properties IV (Fat City) – Business was awarded $50,000 to make the facade more cohesive with the adjacent building and landscaping
- Infinity Engineering (Fat City) – Business was awarded $50,000 for new stucco, landscaping, and egress accessibility improvements
- Bicycle World of Louisiana (Jefferson Highway) – Business was awarded $50,000 for updated shutters, painting and landscaping
- Stevens Realty Group (Fat City) – Business was awarded $23,350 for new signage, painting and landscaping
"This is an exciting time for JEDCO and Jefferson Parish as the projects chosen through the Façade Improvement Program arrive at the funding phase," said JEDCO president and CEO Jerry Bologna. "We believe the projects chosen to participate in this program will have a very positive impact on the long-term economic success of the Fat City and Jefferson Highway areas. Already, we see physical enhancements through the Façade Improvement Program. Many of the companies are leveraging their own funds to the renovation projects, nearly doubling the amount of investment into their businesses, which was a desire of the program. We look forward to the final results of this project later this year."
JEDCO and Jefferson Parish anticipate most Façade Improvement Program construction projects will be completed by fall of 2019.