(KMTR) -- It's another bright spot in downtown Eugene’s continuing comeback, as more than a dozen businesses are getting a slice of tens of thousands of dollars in grant money to help shine new, energy efficient light in the area’s core.
The city of Eugene is pouring $30,000 of urban renewal grants into downtown businesses for several lighting projects. The city says the idea is to create a more desirable and inviting look for the businesses, as well as increase safety.
13 business in are getting the grants, all of which are in the downtown Eugene core along Broadway and Willamette Streets.
Restaurants including Café Zenon, Davis’, and Cowfish are receiving grant funds, also venues like the McDonald and Lord Leebrick Theatres, and businesses like Saturday Market’s offices, Summit Bank and Scan Design.
“It's a very exciting time for downtown, the lights will actually provide the punctuation for that. So as we see new development downtown, we still literally the light candles come up, it makes it a more exciting and inviting place,” says Michael Sullivan, Manager of the Eugene Planning and Development department.
Harlequin Beads and Jewelry on Willamette Street is another one of the businesses that’s lighting up. The bead store’s front light box will get LED bulbs. Up above, the huge tile mosaic of flowers will also be showcased at sundown with two new LED flood lamps.
“I wouldn't have done it if it weren't for the grant money, I wouldn't have been able to afford it so between the grant money and the EWEB rebates on the bulbs I can do it for very little out of pocket,” says Stacy Bierma, Owner of Harlequin Beads and Jewelry.
“I'm really please with the city's efforts.. I think the LCC campus and the Broadway Building on Willamette's going to make a big difference when we get some more stuff going on down here,” says Bierma.
The grants for the projects vary from $1,400 to $2,700 per business. All 13 of the light projects will help cut costs as well with LED technology. LED’s use around 80% less energy than incandescent light bulbs.
All of the new lighting projects should roll out between December 2011 and the beginning of 2012. City planners hope the projects will shine more light on store fronts and surrounding sidewalks.