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Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL)

Realizing the need to rehabilitate downtown buildings with funding that can be disbursed quickly and efficiently, the Kansas Department of Commerce has partnered with the Patterson Family Foundation to create the Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) program. HEAL focuses on projects that show potential as economic drivers in Kansas communities.

The HEAL program is designed to bring downtown buildings back into productive use as spaces for:

  • New or expanding businesses
  • Housing
  • Arts and culture
  • Civic engagement
  • Childcare
  • Entrepreneurship

HEAL Grant Recipients

Project NameCityCountyAmountRound
Abilene, 303 North BroadwayAbileneDickinson $ 57,728.00 HEAL 4.0
Larned, 518 BroadwayLarnedPawnee $ 100,000.00 HEAL 4.0
Stafford SuitesStaffordStafford $ 100,000.00 HEAL 4.0
Andale, The Historical Andale Hotel ReimaginedAndaleSedgwick $ 100,000.00 HEAL 4.0
Muscotah Community Center Muscotah Atchison $ 65,640.00 HEAL 4.0
Deerfield State BankDeerfieldKearny $ 47,580.00 HEAL 4.0
Josephine HotelHoltonJackson $ 100,000.00 HEAL 4.0
A Courtland Cornerstone: Coffee Shop For the CommunityCourtlandRepublic $ 100,000.00 HEAL 4.0
Liberty Screen Printing – ChanuteChanuteNeosho $ 50,900.00 HEAL 4.0
Columbus Liberty ProjectColumbusCherokee $ 100,000.00 HEAL 4.0
Katy AntiquesParsonsLabette $ 100,000.00 HEAL 4.0
131 N. Main Lindsborg, KS; Lindsborg Mercantile Co.LindsborgMcPherson $ 57,750.00 HEAL 4.0
Brio Med Spa & WellnessIndependenceMontgomery $ 100,000.00 HEAL 4.0
Wilmore Bank and Post OfficeWilmoreComanche $ 8,822.00 HEAL 4.0
Grays Photo StudioSt. JohnStafford $ 50,000.00 HEAL 4.0
Minnie’s Kitchen in MarysvilleMarysvilleMarshall $ 7,222.00 HEAL 4.0
Press BlockGirardCrawford $ 10,000.00 HEAL 4.0
The Gazette Building- EmporiaEmporiaLyon $ 100,000.00 HEAL 4.0
Banker’s Inn FrankfortFrankfortMarshall $ 40,000.00 HEAL 4.0
Winfield, 108 E. 9thWinfieldCowley $ 51,000.00 HEAL 4.0
City of Logan – Upper Story HousingLoganPhillips $ 25,000.00 HEAL 4.0

How to Apply

HEAL provides matching grant funds to assist communities in revitalizing underutilized, vacant, or dilapidated downtown buildings through a competitive grant. The grants are intended to bring buildings back into productive use as spaces for new or expanding businesses, childcare, housing, arts and culture, civic engagement, or entrepreneurship. 

HEAL Program Information

Purpose

The HEAL program was created to preserve and bring new economic activity to underutilized, vacant, or dilapidated downtown buildings in rural Kansas. Building grants are intended to bring buildings back into productive use as spaces for new or expanding businesses, childcare, housing, arts and culture, civic engagement, or entrepreneurship. Façade grants are intended to rehabilitate the façade or street view of downtown buildings in need of repair to stimulate economic growth and reinvestment in the downtown district. The building in need of façade rehabilitation should either have a tenant or be tenant-ready.

HEAL 4.0 Eligible Applicants

Nonprofit or local government organizations applying on behalf of building owners of underutilized, vacant, or dilapidated downtown buildings or those needing façade improvements are eligible applicants for the HEAL program.

HEAL 4.0: Communities from first round ARE eligible to apply for 4.0 

HEAL 4.0 Ineligible Applicants

Arkansas City    

Augusta               

Hutchinson 

Belleville 

Beloit 

Bonner Springs      

Clay Center 

Corning                     

Dodge City 

Halstead 

Hays 

Hillsboro 

Lewis 

Kinsley 

Otis 

Meriden              

Miltonvale 

Ness City 

Oakley 

Osawatomie 

Ottawa   

Overbrook             

Pittsburg 

Russell 

Seneca     

Spearville 

St. Francis 

Sterling 

Sylvan Grove   

Wathena 

White Cloud 

Yates Center      

Project Eligibility Requirements
  • Properties must be in cities with a population of less than 50,000. 
  • Properties must be in the downtown business district or corridor and hold architectural significance for the district. 
  • Projects must show potential for reuse and revitalization as economic drivers in the community. 
  • The awarded project may include funding from any state or federal source if there is no duplication of benefit. Examples include Community Development Block Grant, USDA Rural Development, State Historic Preservation Office programs or local Network Kansas programs. 
  • Projects must incorporate Main Street Design Standards and follow local ordinances and code for rehab/construction/façade improvements. 
  • Award recipients are required to sign a contract agreeing to the conditions of the program. 
  • Projects must begin construction no later than April 1, 2024 with construction complete by April 1, 2026 with a tenant in place by September 1, 2026. 
    • NOTE: Site cleanup, removal of debris, and demolition do not qualify as construction. Tenant must be leasing the space.   
  • No more than one HEAL grant may be awarded to any city. 
  • Previously awarded HEAL 2.0, 3.0 projects and cities are not eligible to apply for HEAL 4.0.
  • Work must not begin before the award of the grant except for removal of façade slipcovers such as metal, stucco, tiles, stone veneer. 
  • Work previously completed is not eligible for this grant program. 
Best Practices
  • Projects are encouraged to follow the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. https://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/rehabilitation.htm
  • Projects are also encouraged to use best preservation practices as outlined in the Preservation Briefs of the NPS.   https://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/briefs.htm
  • Projects that are on the State or National Register of Historic Places or contributing buildings in a Historic District must follow these standard and best practices guidelines and receive appropriate state approvals before beginning work.
Required Supporting Materials with the Application
  • Preliminary architectural drawings, including plans and elevations are required to support the scope of work.  Color renderings are required if work is being done to the street facing façade(s).
  • Actual bids from licensed contractors will be required for the submission of the grant application.
  • Pro-forma and business plan for building use.
  • A 1:1 match minimum and proof of matching funds from the building owner.
  • A letter signed by both organization and the building owner that confirms commitment by both parties to the project.
Eligible Building Grant Project Expenses

Masonry, insulation, foundations, roofs and guttering, fire stairs, windows, doors, chimneys, walls, ceilings, floors, interior stairs, elevators, lighting and fixtures, electrical wiring, data and communication, wiring (not including equipment), HVAC systems and components, plumbing systems, fire suppression sprinkler systems, and ADA accessibility solutions. This list is not exhaustive. Project expenses not listed here are at the discretion of the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce for eligibility under the grant. Up to 5% of the grant award may be retained by the organization for administration.

Ineligible Building Grant Project Expenses

Professional services (architect and engineering fees), acquisition costs, or leasing contracts. This list is not exhaustive. Grant funds are to be utilized for the physical construction of the project.

Building Grant Award Amount

$30 per square foot of the building area, not to exceed $100,000.

Facade Grant Award Amount

$30 per square foot of the building area, not to exceed $40,000.

Eligible Façade Grant Project Expenses

Masonry, windows, storefronts, cornices, doors, awnings, ADA accessibility solutions. Removal of façade slipcovers such as metal, stucco, tiles, or stone veneer must be performed before applying for a façade grant. This list is not exhaustive. Project expenses not listed here are at the discretion of the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce for eligibility under the grant. Up to 5% of the grant award may be retained by the organization for administration.

Ineligible Façade Grant Project Expenses

Professional services (architect and engineering fees) and slipcover removal such as metal, stucco, tiles, or stone veneer – this should be finished prior to applying for a façade grant. This list is not exhaustive. Grant funds are to be utilized for the physical construction of the project.

Application Dates

HEAL 4.0: Opens August 14 and closes November 10, 2023 at 11:59 PM. Award notifications by mid-December.

Award and Reporting Information

Awarded projects will be funded on the following schedule with the corresponding project milestones and deadlines:

  • 50% of the grant when proof of commencement of construction is verified. Site visit required.

NOTE: Site cleanup, removal of debris, and demolition do not qualify as construction.

  • 25% of the grant when 50% construction completion has been verified. Site visit required.
  • 25% of the grant when 75% construction completion has been verified. Site visit required.
  • 100% construction completion has been verified. Site visit required.

Projects that complete milestones ahead of deadlines will receive award payments once project updates, appropriate documentation, verification, and a site visit can be completed. The purpose of this funding mechanism is to ensure rapid progress to rehabilitate these buildings and provide assurance for local financial partners. 

Progress will be evaluated through monthly project updates completed by the applicant, fiscal reports in June and December completed by the applicant, and site visits with Commerce throughout the project. These are all required to keep projects moving forward, resolve challenges as they arise, and ensure the successful completion of the project.

HEAL 4.0 Program Timeline

August 14, 2023Application Publishes
November 10, 2023 (11:59 pm)Application Closes at 11:59 PM
December 7-14, 2023Initial site visits
December 22, 2023Public announcement of awards
April 1, 2024Deadline for Construction to Begin (50% payment)
June 30, 2024Fiscal Report Due
December 31, 2024Fiscal Report Due
January 1, 2025Deadline for 50% of Construction Completed (25% payment)
June 1, 2025Deadline for 75% of Construction Completed (Final Payment)
June 30, 2025Fiscal Report Due
April 1, 2026100% Construction Completion Deadline
TBDFinal Site Visit, Final Fiscal and Project Reports
September 1, 2026Tenant in Building Deadline

HEAL Resources

Kansas Historic Resources Inventory (KHRI) Tutorials

Watch a video or read through how to navigate the KHRI Inventory.

HEAL Frequently Asked Questions

Who applies for the grant?

The grant application must be made by a local or county organization on behalf of the building’s owner. Eligible applicants include Designated Kansas Main Street Programs, Economic Development Corporations, City or County Government, 501(c)3 or 501(c)6 organizations and Community Foundations.

Will property owners be able to apply on their own?

No. The application must come from an eligible organization with the support of the property owner.

Are the organizations that apply required to financially contribute to the project?

No. Applicant organizations are required to endorse the project, but they are not financially obligated to contribute to the project.

Is there a population requirement for applicants?

Yes. Projects must be in cities with a population of fewer than 50,000 people. Of the 729 cities in Kansas, 720 meet this threshold.

Is the project required to be in a specific area of the community?

Yes. Projects must be located in the downtown business district or a connecting corridor. If you are uncertain if your project is within your downtown, please email [email protected]

Once the building is rehabilitated is it required that a viable business will be occupying the space?

Yes. The intent of making these building improvements is so a viable business can utilize the newly renovated space. This can be an existing business or a brand-new business. Part of the application must include a pro-forma/financial plan and a business plan.

If I have received other federal or state funding for this project—ARPA, SPARK, USDA, CDBG, SHPO, etc.—can those be applied as a match?

Yes, as long as the requirements of the other funds allow for HEAL funds to be added to the project.

What are my chances of receiving this grant?

That is difficult to answer, but these are competitive grants. During the first round of HEAL funding, more than 240 applications were submitted requesting nearly $14 million funding. A team at the Department of Commerce will carefully review and score each application based on merit, project eligibility and need.

How much can I receive for my project?

The maximum Building Grant Award Amount is $30 per square foot of the building area, not to exceed $100,000. The maximum Facade Grant Award Amount is $30 per square foot of the façade area, not to exceed $40,000.

I received an Emergency HEAL grant (or regular HEAL grant) the last time around? Can I apply this round?

No. Applications will not be accepted for projects in communities that received Emergency or Regular HEAL grants in the last round.

Can I apply for more than one project in my downtown?

Yes, but only one project will be eligible to receive funding per community. We encourage you to work with business and property owners to prioritize projects and focus on those that have the capacity to meet the grant requirements and the timeline for completion.

I have one property owner in my downtown that owns several contiguous buildings and needs funding for one project for all of these buildings. Is that an eligible project?

Yes. If one person has three buildings that are connected and that project includes all three of those buildings, that is an eligible use, up to the $100,000 maximum.

I have already started my project. Is it eligible for a HEAL grant?

No, projects must be ready to execute quickly, but must begin construction after the award of the grant.

Does my project have to follow any Design Standards?

Projects must incorporate Main Street Design Standards. Projects must also follow state or local ordinances and code for rehab/construction/façade improvements.

Does my project have to follow any Preservation Standards?

Projects are encouraged to follow the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. https://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/rehabilitation.htm

Projects are also encouraged to use best preservation practices as outlined in the Preservation Briefs of the National Park Service.

https://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/briefs.htm

Projects that are on the State or National Register of Historic Places or contributing buildings in a State or National Register Historic District MUST follow these standards and best practice guidelines and receive appropriate state approvals with the Kansas State Historical Society office before beginning work.

Main Street Design Standards
Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid with Historic Buildings
Sample Budget
Program Inquiries

HEAL is a collaboration of

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