Several western Illinois and QC area projects will benefit from state funding announced Monday by Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).
Capital grants totaling $106 million will go to revitalize 50 commercial corridors and main streets throughout Illinois. In addition to the $106 million in state funding, projects offered an additional $109 million in matching grant funds, for a total investment of $215 million, according to a state release. The historic Rebuild Illinois (RBI) Downtowns and Main Streets Capital program represents the largest-ever RBI investment focused on community revitalization.
Local projects to benefit include:
- Aledo: Roadway & streetscape improvements, $3 million
- Galesburg: Simmons Street streetscape improvements/reconstruction, $2.1 million
- Kewanee: Downtown streetscape improvements, $2.95 million
- Moline: 7th Avenue reconstruction & connector project, $3 million
- Monmouth: Downtown Square revitalization, $3 million
- Rock Falls: Acquisition and redevelopment of the abandoned Micro Industries property, $2.2 million
- Rock Island: Downtown Rock Island revitalization, $3 million
Launched through Rebuild Illinois State capital funds and further expanded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the grants support projects that will revitalize commercial hubs, beautify and modernize downtowns, address critical infrastructure needs, boost jobs and improve the quality of life for residents.
“I am thrilled to announce that we are doubling last year’s investment in our Downtowns and Main Streets Capital Grant program to include over 50 communities throughout Illinois to modernize downtowns, address long-awaited infrastructure needs, and boost local economies — in turn, bettering the quality of life for our state’s residents,” Gov. Pritzker said in Monday’s release.
“With that upgraded infrastructure comes economic opportunity: more jobs, more business growth, and more money pouring into the communities that need it most — and that’s what Rebuild Illinois is all about.”
“Our administration knows that the road to recovery must include economic opportunities for our most vulnerable so we may all move forward together,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “The Rebuild Illinois Downtowns and Main Streets grants invest in communities that have for too long been disinvested, creating a pathway to make needed improvements that uplift residents and revitalize regions across the state.”
The state originally allocated $50 million in funding for this project in 2021. However, due to the high quality of applications and ongoing need, as well as the number of projects eligible for federal COVID relief funds, funding for the program increased by $56 million, for a total of $106 million in investments benefiting 50 total communities. The increase in funding allowed the state to support an additional 29 community revitalization projects.
The RBI Downtowns and Main Streets Capital Program is designed to support local commercial corridors, with concentrations of businesses that experienced difficulties during the pandemic due to declining foot traffic, tourism, and business from downtown offices. The program drives investment in infrastructure and public amenities that continue to fuel economic activity as more Illinoisans patron their local town centers.
Grants awarded through the program are located in a commercial center or downtown area and include a variety of projects, such as the restoration of historic buildings, parking and street improvements, construction or improvement of outdoor venues or plazas for public use, sustainability upgrades, structural repairs and other projects benefitting the larger community. Grants range from $398,552 to $3 million in funding.
“Today’s announcement illustrates why the General Assembly continues to prioritize Rebuild Illinois every year,” said Speaker of the House Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Hillside). “We have proven that we can be fiscally responsible and make groundbreaking investments in our communities.”