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Rethos: Places Reimagined Awarded $700,000 Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant

Rethos: Places Reimagined has been awarded a Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant in the amount of $700,000 to fund its Minnesota Main Streets “Looking Up” program.

The Minnesota Main Streets “Looking Up” program will focus on assisting owners of historic rural downtown buildings rehabilitate their second stories. As the Main Street America Coordinating Program for Minnesota, Rethos works with over twenty communities across the state.

“This very generous grant from the National Park Service will make a tremendous difference for Minnesota’s smaller towns and their downtown businesses. It’s also wonderful recognition of all of the hard work that so many of our local partners have put into the Main Streets program already. It’s a big win for the whole team,” said Erik Hansen, Rethos board member and chair of the Minnesota Main Streets Committee.

“The Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants program fosters economic development in rural communities through the rehabilitation of historic buildings,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams. “With these funds, our state, Tribal, local government, and non-profit partners can develop subgrant programs and select individual projects that will support the economic development goals and needs in their communities.”

"Rethos is thrilled to be able to provide an opportunity for physical revitalization of buildings in our Main Street Communities. Access to capital for rehabilitation is critical for the continued growth of economic development efforts in our historic downtowns, and drawing attention to the upper floors of buildings will help communities solve a range of issues, from housing to expanded business space," added Dr. Heidi Swank, executive director for Rethos.

This subgrant program will create a series of ‘catalyst’ upstairs building renovations, with the aim that these projects will foster greater economic development and additional upstairs rehabilitations throughout the Main Streets Minnesota network. To maximize the impact, Rethos will award subgrants in the range of $25,000 -$50,000.

This strategy has a proven record of accelerating reinvestment efforts in Greater Minnesota communities. Since Minnesota Main Street’s inception in 2010, Rethos has worked across 22 Minnesota counties, helping communities create 739 new local jobs and conduct 754 building rehabilitation projects.

In total, the Minnesota Main Street program has fostered over $130 million in private and public investment in historic downtowns and neighborhood districts in Minnesota. In 2020 alone, Rethos’ programming helped create 167 new jobs and facilitated over $35 million dollars in reinvestment within the downtown districts of our Minnesota Main Streets partner communities.

Current Minnesota Main Street member communities include Albert Lea, Faribault, Lincoln Park in Duluth, Mankato, Northfield, Olivia, Owatonna, Red Wing, Shakopee, Wabasha, Willmar, and Winona.

Read the National Park Service press release here.


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