The Journal Gazette
 
 
Monday, March 27, 2017 10:02 pm

Warsaw begins fundraising for downtown

Lisa Green | The Journal Gazette

The countdown for cash begins again for another Fort Wayne-area community.

The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority on Monday announced the city of Warsaw could soon turn an empty alley into a downtown destination.

The state is willing to help, with a matching grant of up to $50,000, if a fundraising campaign reaches its $50,000 goal. The support is part of a CreatING Places program the state launched in October. So far, five projects have raised more than $200,000, the state said.

A Wabash project to create a Riverfront Plaza was the first the state announced for the crowdfunding, partnering with patronicity.com.

Interest in the Wabash project generated $82,659 in donations by Dec. 31, exceeding the $50,000 goal and qualifying it for the state match of up to $50,000.

The Warsaw project idea came from community input about the need for a downtown-area cultural space, according to a news release. The city plans to add public art, bike parking, outdoor seating, public Wi-Fi, green space, and other design elements to enhance the alleyway.

"We are excited to support Warsaw on this creative, placemaking project," said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, who chairs the Housing & Community Development Authority overseeing the program.

Rob Parker, president and CEO of the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce, said there are few places to gather and mingle in public downtown area spaces.

The Alley Project will address that need and "create a vibrancy to the downtown that will benefit everyone in our community," Parker said in a statement.

Matching grant amounts vary, up to $50,000, based on money raised through patronicity.com. The project fundraising must be completed within a set number of days.

lisagreen@jg.net

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