By COLE REIF
Great Bend Post
In July 2021, a loft project was approved for funding by the Great Bend City Council to provide $1 million to help reimburse property owners of multi-story buildings in downtown Great Bend for the cost of renovations, including the addition of fire sprinklers.
In hopes of addressing housing
shortages and creating more commercial space, Great Bend Economic Development has
awarded one grant since opening the project.
Economic Development Director Sara Arnberger said staff is working with two other property owners to award their grants soon and there are five others working on plans.
"I know to the community it's going so slowly," said Arnberger. "They don't get to see all the things going on in the background, and I know that's very hard. Trust me when I say there are some really exciting things taking place. There are some property owners working very hard to get these things in place."
The loft project grant through Great Bend awards funds as a forgivable loan with a 0% interest rate if the project is completed by the end of 2024. The loan is in the amount of $5.50 per interior square foot.
Great Bend received $2.27 million in federal COVID-19 pandemic relief aid, and $1 million was designated for the loft project.