Downtown Development Programs
businesses call home
The City of Paducah has created an effective and exciting toolbox of programs administered through the Main Street organization to encourage development, beautification, rehabilitation, and stabilization of the Historic Downtown Commercial District. Our goal is to encourage vibrant streets, increased residential density, and thriving businesses.
Assistance also is provided in completing state and federal applications for historic tax credits. Any person interested in obtaining assistance should contact Principal Planner Katie Axt at 270-444-8690.
ARTIST SET UP AREA
Apply to set up at the Downtown Gazebo to sell or demonstrate your artwork.
NEW BUSINESS GRANTS
Apply for reimbursement of costs associated with opening a new business.
Apply for reimbursement of costs associated with beautification.
ROOF STABILIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Apply for assistance with roof repair and replacement projects.
UPPER STORY RESIDENTIAL GRANTS
Apply for reimbursement of costs associated with creating upper story residential units.
Historic & Architectural Review Commission (HARC)
Where History Lives
Paducah has two types of historic zones, the H-1 Historic Commercial Zone, which covers the Market House / Second Street area, and the H-2 Historic Neighborhood Zone, which includes the Lower Town area. The City of Paducah’s zoning ordinance book states that the purpose of the historic zones is to encourage the development, redevelopment and preservations of the City of Paducah’s historic areas. Click Historic Places for a list of links. Advisory Design Guidelines has the guidelines to Paducah’s historic neighborhoods. Demolition Control Zone includes for a map and more information about the process of demolishing buildings in historic areas.
Welcome to the Opportunity Zone
Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool promoting investment in distressed communities through legislation enacted by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Communities have been designated as Opportunity Zones by the U.S. Department of Treasury, incentivizing investments in these distressed communities to better address local needs in areas such as business growth, improvements to housing, and improvements to infrastructure.
While Paducah is filled with opportunity, Kentucky’s governor selected two census tracts located along the Ohio River as our official Opportunity Zones. See City of Paducah website for more information.
Click here for more information on available commercial properties in Downtown.
Artist Setup Area Application
Through this application, artists can set up to sell or demonstrate their artwork. The areas that artists can use are the downtown gazebo at 2nd and Broadway and the Texaco Station Information Center at the corner of North 7th and Madison Streets.
Note: Please allow at least 24-48 hours for the processing of the application.
Historic Downtown New Business Grant Program
The purpose of the Historic Downtown New Business Grant Program is to provide for the creation of new businesses within Historic Downtown Paducah. The redevelopment of buildings is crucial to maintaining an economically strong Downtown Commercial District, a commercial area where the image, appearance, and environment encourage the attraction of shoppers. The intention is to provide financial resources to assist new business owners locating to Historic Downtown Paducah.
- For business utilizing less than 1,000 square feet: 100 percent reimbursement for eligible costs of the first $5,000.00. The New Business Program provides for 50 percent reimbursement of eligible costs between $5,001.00 and $10,000.00.
- For business utilizing 1,000 square feet or more: 100 percent reimbursement for eligible costs of the first $7,500.00. The New Business Program provides for 50 percent reimbursement of eligible costs between $7,501.00 and $15,000.00.
Historic Downtown New Business Grant Program Application (check back in July 2021).
Beautification Grant – Businesses can receive a match of up to $100 for eligible beautification projects including painting, lighting, or the addition of flowers or art.
Beautification Micro-Grant Application (check back in July 2021).
Façade Grant – This financial incentive to Paducah Main Street merchants and property owners in the project area helps them improve their buildings while retaining the historic character of the district. Only commerical properties are eligible. The City will match eligible improvements to the exterior of a property up to 50% of the total project costs. Grant amount is not to exceed $1,000. Total grant funds available will be limited to $8,000 per fiscal year. Façade Grants will be available year-round and will be awarded monthly as funds are available. Completed applications must be submitted to and approved by the Paducah Main Street Design Committee prior to work beginning. Grants are not awarded for work done prior to approval. Work must be completed within 180 days of grant award. Once the project is completed, grantees must submit paid receipts for reimbursement. Paducah Main Street will verify that the work was done according to the approved application before reimbursing funds. Reimbursements will be made within 14 days of the submission of approved receipts. A facade is defined as an individual storefront or side of a building that faces a public street or public alley with public access. Separate addresses within a single building may qualify as separate facades.
Facade Micro-Grant Application (check back in July 2021).
Facade Grant Eligible Improvements
- Masonry or mortar joint repair
- Window or door repair/replacement
- Repair of purchase of new awnings
- Transom and window repair/replacement
- Removal of non-historic materials (e.g. siding that covers transom windows, bricked-over window or door openings, removing paint from brick, etc.)
- Replacement of architectural details
- Exterior painting (except for applying paint to unpainted brick)
- Exterior lighting or interior storefront window display lighting that remains on during evening hours
- Other improvements may qualify on a case-by-case basis
Roof Stabilization Assistance Program (RSAP)
Funds are allotted each budget cycle for the stabilization and replacement of roofs in the Historic Downtown area. At specified times during the fiscal year, the City of Paducah requests applications for the purpose of roof replacement or roof stabilization in the Roof Stabilization Project Area.
To qualify for assistance under the Roof Stabilization Assistance Program (RSAP), an applicant shall submit a complete application; three bids from the list of qualified contractors; current photographs; and proof of financial ability from a qualified financial institution. The City of Paducah reserves the right to approve or deny any application. Grant awards will be given based on availability of funds.
For 2020, the Main Street program may award up to $60,000. Each grant will not exceed 50% of a project’s total roof stabilization costs or 50% of total funds allocated.
Applications will be ranked in accordance with the following criteria:
- Urgency of roof stabilization. 25%
- Contributing structure on the National Register of Historic Places. 25%
- Historic relationship to adjacent structures 25%
- Capital commitment of owner to rehabilitate remaining structure. 25%
Roof Stabilization Assistance Program Application (check back in July)
Questions? Contact the Planning Department at 270-444-8690.
Upper Story Residential Grant Program
The Upper Story Residential Grant Program is designed to encourage upper story residential rental units in Paducah’s Historic Downtown. Property owners/developers within a defined area in historic downtown will be eligible to apply for financial assistance to create new upper story living spaces in new or existing buildings. The grant shall not exceed 20 percent of the construction costs or a maximum of $15,000 per Upper Story Residential Rental Unit. For a residential owner-occupied unit, the grant is either 15 percent of the construction costs or a maximum of $15,000 per unit.
This program is through the City of Paducah Planning Department with the Urban Renewal & Community Development Agency (URCDA) overseeing the allocation of funds up to $60,000. For projects that exceed an allocation of $60,000, the project will be forwarded to the City Commission for approval.
To apply for the Upper Story Residential Grant Program, complete an application and submit the following items:
- A current list of owners/partners or officers/directors who have ownership in the property
- Copy of property deed
- Copy of insurance policy
- Third-party estimates of work to be done from a qualified contractor
- Proof of financial ability to complete 100% of the Upper Story Residential Project
- Rehabilitation plans
Upper Story Residential Grant Program Application (check back in July)
Please contact us with any questions or comments. We'll get back in touch as soon as we can.
Note: If you have comments or questions regarding the downtown Farmer's Market, festivals, Live on the River, or the Riverfront Concert Series, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 1400 H.C. Mathis Drive (270-444-8508).
Paducah Planning Department
(2nd floor of City Hall)
300 South 5th Street
Paducah, KY 42003
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