Our Town York: Downtown Revitalization

Pure Nebraska
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 11:17 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Facade improvements and exterior structural repairs have helped bring new vitality to many store fronts in the downtown area of York.

We caught up with York Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Madonna Mogul to talk about recent downtown revitalization efforts. “Downtown York has been active in a revitalization program since 2016,” Mogul said. “We embarked upon a survey through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, and this helped give us some direction to guide our downtown property owners on what we wanted the look and feel of downtown to be.”

Mogul says the city of York is it its third funding phase, and 34 properties have been upgraded and improved. “Between grant funds and private investment, we’ve invested $1.6 Million downtown,” Mogul said. “Again, the help came through the Department of Economic Development. Business owners submitted an application for facade improvements, to help with ADA compliance issues, or to deal with code violations such as dilapidated wiring that needed to be addressed. They made applications to the DTR committee, we reviewed them, and the owners only had to put in 25% of the amount of the project. Our projects ran the whole spectrum. We had some small projects that maybe just wanted to put in a handicapped accessible door, and we had some that wanted to do a complete restoration.”

Some examples of businesses that took advantage of the grant funding include Mr. Dukes Mercantile, and the Jewelers Vault. “Our movie theater was a part of the program,” Mogul said. “Our community playhouse participated in the last round of grants and they are finishing up their project in this current phase of revitalization. We had several retailers that went the extra mile. This has actually spurred private investment. We do have some properties downtown that many people think were a part of the program. But they actually did the work on their own, to be a part of the excitement.”

“At this point, I’ve been informed that we have gone through all of the funding phases that are available,” Mogul said. “However, if there are any other opportunities, we will make an application. The city of York is all about equipping our businesses as much as we can.”