Blendon Township is encouraging businesses to follow the township's example of infrastructure reinvestment with a new facade improvement program.
The Blendon Township Board of Trustees approved the new program at its Sept. 11 meeting.
Under the program, businesses can apply for grants matching up to 50 percent of the cost of design and construction of improvements, said Blendon Township Administrator Bryan Rhoads. Businesses can receive up to $10,000 for each phase of improvements.
Funding for the program will come from revenue brought in the joint economic development zone the township established with Westerville.
A portion of the funds raised through the district must be reinvested in infrastructure within the zone, Rhoads said, and encouraging businesses to upgrade their private properties will compliment public improvements planned by the township.
"Our goal is to help spruce up these businesses," Rhoads said. "If we encourage these business owners to enhance their sites, their facades, it's going to increase the property value of the area, increase the traffic that comes to the area, just help us along as we try to clean up the area."
With the master plan the township created with Franklin County three years ago, the township has design concepts for its major corridors. Property owners that apply for facade-improvement grants will have to work with the township to try to fit their planned improvements within the design guidelines, Rhoads said.
"They're going to have to work hand-in-hand with the township if they want to take advantage of this program," Rhoads said. "The goal is to have a cohesive look for the area."
Owners of the Glengary shopping center, at the southeast corner of Dempsey and Westerville roads, already have contacted the township about taking advantage of the program, Rhoads said.
The owners had hired a development firm familiar with township design guidelines and were waiting for trustees to approve the program before moving forward, Rhoads said.