2016 Renaissance Block Challenge Details Announced

by | Oct 12, 2015 | Downtown - Reinvest, Healthy Neighborhoods

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has announced details for the 2016 Renaissance Block Challenge, a program that offers matching funds to home owners up to $2,000 to put towards exterior home improvements. The program encourages and rewards neighborhood groups to work together in an effort to reinvest in their own communities.

Pre-applications for neighborhoods interested in participating in the 2016 program will be available on the JRC website beginning October 1, 2015.

“We have been able to accelerate the application process for next year,” said Mary Maxwell, neighborhood associate with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. “In previous years, we had to wait to award the grants because we did not have the funds until May. With the grant from the John Alfred and Oscar Johnson Memorial Trust, we can move the application deadlines to an earlier date,” said Maxwell. Earlier in the year, John Sellstrom, Johnson Foundation co-trustee, and Carole Sellstrom, Johnson Foundation executive director, made an initial donation of $250,000 toward the Renaissance Block Challenge program with an additional $250,000 to be made in the future.

City residents who would like to participate in the program need to form a neighborhood cluster with a minimum of five property owners which can include homeowners, landlords, and businesses. Once a group has formed, the pre-application process can begin. Aside from matching grant funding, participating homeowners have access to discounts from sponsoring hardware stores and garden centers as well as discounts on coordinated purchasing of materials, services, and design.

“The new deadlines will give property owners a better time of the year to contact their neighbors and get started on the process. It will also give those awarded the 2016 grant more time to finish their projects,” said Maxwell. Not every home improvement project qualifies for the program. Many of those that do include: painting, porch repair, soffit repair, sidewalk repair, mailboxes, exterior lighting, front-yard landscaping, front doors/windows, driveways, driveway aprons, and gutters.

Since 2011, 27 clusters have participated in the program, with almost 300 property owners investing more than $775,000 in exterior improvements and repairs. A few neighborhoods have participated in the program more than once. Neighborhoods that want to participate again must have at least 60 percent of the homeowners be first-time participants to be approved. The neighborhoods with the best chance of being approved for the program are those that can demonstrate a commitment to cultivating strong communication between neighbors and a shared sense of identity so that momentum gained in 2016 can be carried forward and result in a sustainable impact on the community.

Learn more about the RBC pre-application process by attending an informational workshop on Tuesday, October 13, or Thursday, October 15, at 6:00 pm at the Lillian Vitanza Ney Renaissance Center, 119-121 W. Third Street. Reservations are requested. Pre-applications for the 2016 program can be found at www.jamestownrenaissance.org under the “Healthy Neighborhoods” section. Call Mary Maxwell at 664-2477, ext. 224 or email mary@jamestownrenaissance.org for questions regarding the Renaissance Block Challenge or to reserve your space for a workshop.

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is a nonprofit organization that supports downtown and neighborhood revitalization in Jamestown, NY, by promoting reinvestment, stakeholder engagement, and innovation.


Thursday, October 1 – Pre-application will be available

Tuesday, October 13 – Pre-application informational workshop

Thursday, October 15 – Pre-application informational workshop

Friday, December 11 – pre-applications is due

Friday, January 8, 2016 – Invitations to the final applications will be announced

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 – final applications are due

Thursday, March 31, 2016 – RBC grant awardees announced

Recent Posts

2022 Downtown Building and Business Grant Pre-Application Now Open

Are you looking to adapt or improve your business?Is the downtown building you own not living up to all of its potential?The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation's Building and Business Improvement Program(BBIP) may have the resources you need. The program is a 50/50...

2021 BBIP Grant for Downtown Buildings and Businesses Now Open

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is excited to announce the opening of its 2021 Building and Business Improvement Program. Downtown building and business owners have until April 5th, 2021, to apply to receive matching support towards investments related to...

Historic Tax Credit Workshop

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, in collaboration with Preservation Buffalo Niagara, is hosting a Historic Tax Credit Workshop on February 17th at 6 pm. Jamestown is home to three historic districts: Downtown, Forest Heights, and Lakeview. Properties in these...

Your Ideas for Downtown!

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is looking for the community's input on where to focus resources next year and years to come, specifically ideas that relate to improving our community within the context of the downtown urban core. We are looking for great ideas...

New Grant Program for Downtown Businesses

Our Retail Expansion Grant is now available to downtown businesses. This grant offers matching grant dollars to support the purchase of gift cards, branded merchandise, and expenses related to offering a new product or service. Learn a little bit more about the grant...

Doors Open Jamestown Recap

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) is proud to report on another successful Doors Open Jamestown, with 17 participating attractions, and total attendance over 1,000. JRC and Jamestown Up Close would like to thank the attractions for their participation and support, as well as everyone that came out to see the attractions, and support downtown businesses on a snowy winter day.

Jamestown Up Close Shop Small, Win Big Winners Announced

Jamestown Up Close and Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) are excited to announce the winners and results of this year’s Shop Small, Win Big contest. In an effort to boost local commerce during the 2019 holiday season, Jamestown Up Close encouraged shoppers to shop downtown from Small Business Saturday through December 18th.

Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration Fireworks Brought to You by Chautauqua Region Community Foundation

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) is proud to continue their partnership with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (CRCF), to once again bring fireworks to the annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration. The parade will be held this Friday, December 6th, with live music at 5pm by “For the People”. The parade kickoff, tree lighting, and National Anthem start at 6:30pm, and the parade ends with a Santa-led fireworks celebration at the conclusion of the parade.