Downtown Loan Interest Loan Program

What is the Downtown Improvement Loan Program?
The 2001 Downtown Improvement Loan Program (the Loan Program) is a joint venture between local financial institutions, the St. Cloud Housing and Redevelopment Authority, and the Downtown Council. The purpose of the Loan Program is to make funds available for exterior facade improvements and interior leasehold improvements on downtown properties within the target area (see map on the right). It is the intent of the Loan Program to encourage greater business activity in downtown St. Cloud.

What Types of Improvements Can Be Funded?
Exterior Facade Improvements are exterior improvements that can be viewed from a public right-of-way, including signs, awnings, window repair, roofing and storefront rehabilitation. Exterior facade projects will be evaluated in the context of their compatibility with the Downtown St. Cloud Design Guidelines.

Interior Leasehold Improvements include floors, wall and ceiling finishes, built-in cabinetry, ceiling light fixtures and mechanical heating systems. Removeable items such as equipment or furnishings are not eligible.

Rental Housing – Rehabilitation of existing rental housing, which is part of a commercial building, is eligible if done in conjunction with any of the other eligible improvements listed above.

Up to $20,000 may be used for demolition and razing of existing buildings.

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Where is the Eligible Area?
The target area includes all business and commercial properties lying within the following boundaries:

  • The Eastern boundary is the Mississippi River.
  • The Southern boundary includes properties fronting the South side of Division Street between the Mississippi River and Washington Memorial Drive.
  • The Western boundary is property lying East of Washington Memorial Drive to Division Street and from West St. Germain from 17th Ave. N to the Mississippi River.
  • The Northern boundary is property which fronts First Street North between the Mississippi River and Sixth Ave. N and from 17th Ave. N to 11th Ave. N. All property fronting 2nd Street N between 11th Ave. N and Sixth Ave. N is also included in the lending area.
  • In addition, all property lying within one block of East St. Germain Street between the Mississippi River and West of Lincoln Avenue is included.

How are Applications Processed?
Applications for the loan program contain two parts. Part I, entitled “Project Approval” relates to the evaluation of the project concept and consistency with the program guidelines. This portion must be submitted to the Downtown Council prior to commencement of the project. No loan will be made until Part I has been approved.

Applicants for Exterior Facade Improvements will also have Part I of their application evaluated for compatibility with the St. cloud Downtown Design Guidelines, included in the application packet.

Part II, entitled “Loan Approval” relates to other information necessary for the evaluation of the applicant’s credit worthiness. It must be submitted to a participating lender of the applicant’s choice. Any participating lender may substitute or waive any portion of Part II, so the applicants are encouraged to meet with their chosen financial institution to determine the type of required information.

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What are the Loan Conditions?
All loan proceeds must be dispersed in calendar year 2001.

The maximum loan amount is $40,000, the interest rate is fixed at 5% for the full term of the loan. All loans are amortized over a maximum period of five-years. The maximum loan amount stated above shall be reduced by the principal balance owing from any loans under a prior year’s program. No individual or entity in which the individual has an ownership interest shall be eligible for more than one loan under the Loan Program.

All loan applications must be made prior to commencement of the project by applicant.

Who is Eligible to Apply?
The Downtown Council will consider applications by any business or commercial property owner.

Why is this Program Being Offered?
One goal of the Downtown Council is to establish the downtown area as a location for unique, regional and community attractions and facilities, while focusing on the needs and desires of all current and potential downtown interests.

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What Financial Institutions are Participating?

  • American Heritage National Bank
  • Bremer Bank
  • Norwest Bank MN South, National Assoc.
  • ReliaStar Bank
  • Stearns Bank, N.A.
  • US Bank

Is There a Fee Charged?
Applications must be accompanied by a $200 application fee, payable to the Downtown Council, which is refundable (minus a $15 processing fee) in the event that Part I of the application is not approved. No refund will be given in the event a participating lender does not approve Part II. The application fee is waived for Downtown Council members. For nonmember applicants the $200 application fee will be deducted from the applicant’s dues in the event they choose to join the Downtown Council for 2001.

How Can You Get More Information?
To receive a loan application and more information on the program and services offered by the Downtown Council, call or write:

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