by: Allison Keys
Posted: / Updated:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Two local businesses have received grants that will allow them to establish new spaces in downtown Albuquerque. The City of Albuquerque’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency has announced Electric Playhouse and Blue Door Patisserie are planning to use their Storefront Activation Grants to help them with street-level expansions downtown this year.
A news release from the City states that the two businesses were the first to qualify for funding that was made available by the American Rescue Plan Act in order to support revitalization and economic recovery in Albuquerque. Grant applications are still being accepted with additional information available at cabq.gov/storefrontgrants.
Offering immersive entertainment and dining experiences, Electric Playhouse plans to use the funding to create an administrative headquarters. The City reports that the business aims to renovate 3,880 square feet of the Occidental Life Building located at Third Street and Gold Ave. with interactive art pieces and update the interior office space.
Currently located in the Sawmill Market, Blue Door Patisserie serves French cuisine and will use their grant to establish another location at 900 Park Ave. SW. According to the news release, the funds will be used to help renovate the interior of the space and also provide living wages and benefits to staff.
Grants of up to $35,000 are being awarded to businesses on a first-come-first-served basis until funding is expended. MRA reports it has $500,000 in ARPA funds to use to support small businesses that occupy vacant street-level property or that expand a current downtown storefront footprint by at least 50%.
Additional funding of $5,000 may be available for applicants that demonstrate that their business will attract visitors to the downtown area between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. at least for days a week. According to the news release, the downtown area is defined as the region between Lomas, Coal, and Broadway avenues and 11th St.
In order to qualify, businesses must employ fewer than 250 people, be located in the Downtown District, have executed a lease or lease amendment after Oct. 1, 2021, with a term of at least two years for an eligible downtown storefront and meet additional qualifications.