Mission EDC Starts Downtown Rent Subsidy Program
MISSION, TEXAS (September 16, 2015) – Two years ago, the Mission EDC Board of Directors and the City of Mission City Council agreed to create the Mission EDC Downtown Façade Improvement Program. The purpose of this program was to encourage the improvement of commercial buildings in Mission’s Downtown District, thereby strengthening the physical and economic vitality of the area. For the past two fiscal years, Mission EDC has allocated $100,000 each year towards the improvement of downtown facades. As a result of the program’s success, the Mission EDC Board of Directors and City Council approved an additional $50,000 for the complimentary, Mission EDC Downtown Rent Subsidy program, which will commence October 1, 2015.
During fiscal years 2014 and 2015, Mission EDC awarded approximately $146,000 to 23 downtown property owners to upgrade and repair their building facades, which resulted in an additional $86,000 capital investment by the property owners themselves. Further, in the same time period, the City of Mission and the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ), started and completed a $2.5 million downtown facelift making the area more pedestrian friendly. A $2 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration was used for the project with matching funds from the TIRZ. Dozens of freshly planted palm trees and old fashioned street lamps, as well as new benches and trash bins, now stretch from 1st to 14th street along Conway Avenue. In addition, two Valley Metro buses run between three downtown bus stops to promote pedestrian traffic.
“The downtown streetscape project was much needed for the beautification of our downtown and to encourage further investment by our downtown merchants and property owners,” stated Richard Hernandez, TIRZ Chair. “Through this project, we were able to improve the Leo Pena Placita Park, as well as, build a splash pad and enhance the park on 1st and Conway for the City of Mission families.”
To compliment and continue the downtown improvements, the Mission EDC Board approved the Downtown Rent Subsidy Program to help spur a more vibrant and diverse downtown. The Board hopes to create more foot traffic as well as attract businesses that will remain open beyond 5pm.
“Throughout the last few years, Mission EDC has made it evident that we are not just focused on recruiting companies. Whether it’s programs like Ruby Red Ventures that help small businesses or Code the Town, which strengthens the future workforce, the Mission EDC Board knows that supporting local businesses and local talent is the key to a prosperous Mission” said, David Deanda, Mission EDC Board Chair. “The Rent Subsidy program is another example of our commitment to the community.”
The subsidy is available to new business start-ups and established businesses that want to move or open a second location in downtown Mission. Qualified businesses can receive a subsidy worth up to 6 months of rent, or a total not to exceed $7,500 whichever is less. Businesses must sign a minimum of a 3-year lease on a location along Conway between 1st and 17th street, as well as, fall under one of the following categories:
· Upscale restaurant, Bistro
· Coffee Shop
· Book store
· Music store
· Art studio – performing, graphic, culinary, gallery
· Specialty grocery store
For additional information, please contact the Mission EDC office at (956) 585-0040.