St. Helens and other Columbia County cities have an opportunity to gain state grant funding to help downtown revitalization efforts.

Oregon Main Street Grants

The Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant funds may be used to acquire, rehabilitate and construct buildings on properties in designated downtown areas statewide.

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is offering grants for up to $200,000 in matching funds for downtown revitalization efforts in communities participating in the Oregon Main Street Network. The Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant funds may be used to acquire, rehabilitate and construct buildings on properties in designated downtown areas statewide.

Funded projects must facilitate community revitalization that will lead to private investment, job creation or retention, establishing or expanding viable businesses, or creating a stronger tax base. Projects may include façade improvement, accessibility enhancement, basic utilities, second floor renovations and more. Only organizations participating in the Oregon Main Street Network are eligible to apply.

Projects must be within approved Main Street areas. Eligible organizations may collaborate with the local governments and private property owners to apply for projects that will have the biggest benefit to the downtown. The grant application deadline is March 15, 2022.

In 2019, the second grant cycle, SHPO awarded 30 matching grants worth $5,244,261 to Oregon Main Street Network organizations across the state for building projects that encourage economic vitality. Projects ranged from façade improvement to housing and awards ranged from $56,731-$200,000. Sixty-three percent of the requests were funded, with 93% going to rural communities.

“While all of the 2019 projects are not complete, we are thrilled to see the impact this grant program is having in communities that have worked hard to make downtowns a strong asset despite the pandemic,” Oregon Main Street Network coordinator Sheri Stuart said.

Adaptive reuse of a bank building brought apartments to downtown Coos Bay. And structural enhances stabilized a building for retail and event space in Baker City.

“We are looking forward to proposals for the new cycle,” Stuart said.

In 2015, legislation established a permanent fund for the grant and provided an initial $2.5 million of funding as part of a larger lottery bond package. In the 2017 legislative session, an additional $5 million was approved and was funded through the sale of the 2019 lottery bond package. The 2021 bond sale was canceled due to the economic impact of COVID-19, but the Oregon legislature included Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant in the bond packages slated for 2022 and 2023.

Stuart said the preservation office staff is happy to talk with applicants about potential grant projects and review applications.

A free online workshop specific to the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. January 14. Registration is required.


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

1. Be Civil. No bullying, name calling, or insults.
2. Keep it Clean and Be Nice. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
3. Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
4. Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
5. Be Proactive. Let us know of abusive posts. Multiple reports will take a comment offline.
6. Stay On Topic. Any comment that is not related to the original post will be deleted.
7. Abuse of these rules will result in the thread being disabled, comments denied, and/or user blocked.