NORFOLK, NE — Downtown Norfolk is closer to getting the makeover it deserves.
At Norfolk’s City Council meeting Tuesday, the board unanimously voted to approve an application of a $350,000 for community development block grant funds for the downtown revitalization project.
With approval from the board, The Nebraska Department of Economic Development must turn in their application by the end of September. The majority of the funds, ($230,250) from the grant would go towards creating a community gathering place at 303 West Norfolk Avenue, where the Johnny Carson mural is.
Community Planner of the Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District, Jan Merrill says the changes would be beneficial to the downtown area.
“It can draw in more people to the downtown area and it will also make facade improvements available which helps with replacing windows, doors, signage and…it makes the area more attractive.”
Merrill says River Point Square, the potential gathering space by the Johnny Carson mural, will have amenities for all ages as well as an improved pedestrian experience and parking.
The funds will also go towards rehabilitating downtown facade improvements. Community and Regional Planner from RDG, Amy Haase says this isn’t a one and done opportunity for Norfolk.
“This is an opportunity to create a momentum to look long term and what we want to accomplish over the next five to 10 years in the district and within the community.”
Though the project plans are preliminary, if all goes as planned construction could begin end of 2018, beginning of 2019.