Raton MainStreet Receives $300,000 Great Blocks Grant

SANTA FE, N.M. – The New Mexico Economic Development Department announced on Tuesday, a total of $500,000 for revitalization projects in three New Mexico MainStreet communities; Belen, Albuquerque, and Raton with the Raton MainStreet Great Blocks Program receiving some $320,000 of that total.  Together, among other uses, these projects will improve infrastructure for pedestrian access and be used to help grow visitor and retail traffic in MainStreet districts.
Raton – The Public Infrastructure Funding is for construction of Phase I and Phase II of the Raton Great Blocks on Mainstreet Project: Historic First Street – Rio Grande to Park Avenue Project. The project encompasses curb extensions for safe crossings and pedestrian lighting.
“Our MainStreet program has a proven track record of economic performance through private sector reinvestment,” said Economic Development Secretary Matt Geisel. “Investment in public infrastructure transforms downtowns, improves quality of life and drives economic growth.”
“Public Infrastructure leverages substantial private sector reinvestment and creates visible improvements in downtown through upgrades to pedestrian safety and lighting, creating vital spaces for economic growth,” said New Mexico MainStreet Director Rich Williams. “Investments in public infrastructure in our MainStreet communities support jobs, business expansions, entrepreneurial and business development, and is critical in helping to diversify our economy.”
Applications were accepted from eligible MainStreet and Arts and Cultural Districts for the construction of capital, infrastructure and renovation projects, and for downtown master planning in eligible New Mexico MainStreet Districts and Arts & Cultural Districts.
Raton MainStreet and the City of Raton were the first recipients of the “Great Blocks on MainStreet Design Initiative” award. The competition was open to MainStreet and Arts & Cultural Districts to help develop an innovative, intensive-design demonstration project within the district. Raton MainStreet and the City of Raton was provided a professional team of landscape architects, architects, and design professionals worth $50,000, to revitalize a section of Historic First Street within their MainStreet and  their Arts & Cultural District boundary.“We received many great proposals from communities across the state, however Raton MainStreet’s proposal received the highest ranking for integrating principles and practices of urban design, landscape architecture, architecture, preservation and public art,” said then Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela. “The Great Blocks
assistance is a big boost for the City of Raton and we look forward to working with them in revitalizing their historic downtown.”Projects were selected through an application process and needed to demonstrate direct economic impact and/or job creation in the district. Qualifying projects need to be on the adopted Metropolitan Redevelopment Plan (MRA) and their municipality’s ICIP priority plan (Infrastructure and Capital Improvement Plan). Funded communities provided both in-kind and cash matches to the grant and submitted a follow-up redevelopment plan for their organization to capitalize and leverage private sector redevelopment within the project area.

A program of the New Mexico Economic Development Department, New Mexico MainStreet works throughout the state to help affiliated local organizations create an economically viable business environment while preserving cultural and historic resources. New Mexico MainStreet currently serves 27 affiliated MainStreet Districts, eight state-authorized Arts & Cultural Districts, 14 Frontier Community projects, and eight Historic Theater Initiatives. For more information about New Mexico MainStreet, visit https://gonm.biz/ or http://nmmainstreet.org/.


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