2019 Renaissance Block Challenge Applications Available

by | Dec 10, 2018 | Uncategorized

The Renaissance Block Challenge (RBC) program will be available in 2019 for the ninth consecutive year. Sponsored by Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC), the RBC encourages groups of neighbors to collaborate on exterior improvements to their properties in order to boost confidence in Jamestown’s neighborhoods and inspire others to reinvest. Since 2011, 45 neighborhoods have participated in JRC’s Renaissance Block Challenge with 450 property owners investing more than $1.3 million in exterior improvements and repairs.

In the past, all neighborhoods in Jamestown had the opportunity to apply for this grant. In 2017, a Housing Market Analysis and Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy study was performed by czb LLC. This study suggests focusing on specific areas of the city for housing revitalization. After many discussions with community partners, including Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. (COI), Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation (CHRIC), Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation, the City of Jamestown, and local foundations, the area around Allen Park and UPMC- Chautauqua was chosen as the 2019 target area. (See map)

Property owners in the target area who wish to participate in the 2019 RBC need to form a neighborhood cluster with a minimum of five property owners that can include homeowners, landlords and businesses. Once a group is formed, the pre-application process can start.

Pre-applications for property owners will be available on JRC’s website jamestownrenaissance.org, under “Healthy Neighborhoods” starting Saturday, December 1st. The pre-applications will be due Friday, February 15th, 2019.

Each property is eligible for a match up to $2,000 to facilitate their exterior projects. Projects funded in the program include painting, porch repair, soffit repair, sidewalk repair, new mailboxes, exterior lighting, front-yard landscaping, front doors/windows, driveways, driveway aprons, and gutters.

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 RBC pre-applications will be reviewed, and invitations to the final applications will be announced in March. In the final applications, participants outline exterior improvements they wish to complete and skills they can bring to projects in their cluster. 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 2019 can be carried forward and result in a sustainable impact on the community.

“While the Renaissance Block Challenge financially assists homeowners with curb appeal improvements to their properties, the real benefit is an increase in pride of ownership within each of these neighborhoods,” says Mary Maxwell, JRC’s Neighborhood Project Associate. “And on top of that, and more importantly, there is an increase in communication among the neighbors.” Block parties, neighborhood sales and group participation in volunteer activities become annual events.

Learn more about the Renaissance Block Cluster application process by attending one of the informational workshops (see the facts box). All the workshops are the same. Interested property owners only need to attend one, not all.  Attendance is not required but it is highly recommended.


Renaissance Block Challenge Dates

  • Thursday, January 10th, 2019: Application informational workshop at 6 p.m. at the UPMC-Chautauqua auditorium (WCA on Foote Ave.)
  • Saturday, January 12th, 2019: Application informational workshop at 10:00 a.m. at the JRC offices, 301 East 2nd Street, Suite 301.
  • Friday, February 15th, 2019: Deadline for pre-applications.
  • March 2019: Invitations to the final applications will be announced in March.
  • April 2019: Final applications are due Friday, April 19, 2019

Funding for the Renaissance Block Challenge program is being provided by the John Alfred and Oscar Johnson Memorial Trust and The Lenna Foundation, with support from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and The Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation.

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation makes Jamestown better through inspiration, action, and celebration. Find the pre-application HERE or email mary@jamestownrenaissance.org with any questions.

Recent Posts

ArtScape Jamestown Opens Its Call for Artists

ArtScape Jamestown is inviting local artists to submit their work for a new public art program between now and April 7, 2023.  The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is partnering with Chautauqua Art Gallery and the City of Jamestown Park's Department to create an...

Historic Tax Credit Workshop: February 15th via Zoom

Do you have a property in one of Jamestown's Historic Districts or looking to purchase property in one of them? This tax credit zoom workshop is for you. Earn tax credits for property improvements. Feb. 15th 6:00 p.m. Join Preservation Buffalo Niagara, the...

2023 Grants for Building and Business Owners 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 necessary resources. The program is a 50/50...

What kind of “winter place” should Jamestown be?

We recently hosted "Jaime the Storefront Guy" for a workshop for downtown business owners and community stakeholders. Jaime shared some wonderful insights, and the attendees had great takeaways. There was a dynamic conversation around several subjects, but one was...

Holiday Business Window Decorating Contest

The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce this years Holiday Window Decorating Contest!  This year’s contest is open to any local business in the 14701 zip code.  The contest itself will run from November 18th – December 4th. ...

2022 Jamestown Holiday Parade Information Announced

Collaborative Children's Solutions will once again be leading the efforts in collaboration with the City of Jamestown in hosting the 2022 Jamestown NY Holiday Parade!! This year's parade will be held on Saturday, December 3rd 2022 in Downtown Jamestown beginning at...

Storefront Mastery Program Comes to Downtown

Church St in Montclair, New Jersey. Photo by Jaime Izurieta The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation and Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce are excited to host Jaime Izurieta of Storefront Mastery next month. Jaime and the JRC will host a workshop designed to inspire...

Post-Journal spotlights JRC Work

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Timothy Frudd of the Jamestown Post-Journal to share recent news and our vision of our community. Below are links to the stories produced as a result of this conversation. Jamestown Renaissance Corp. Discusses...

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...