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Downtown mushroom farm one of nine organizations receiving a grant from the city

Fort Wayne, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – Thanks to assistance from the city, several Fort Wayne businesses will have a better look.

Nine local organizations were announced Monday by Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry as recipients of a commercial facade grant.

One of those is Windrose Urban Farm located off Lafayette Street. If you haven’t heard of it, you’ve possibly driven by and not even realized it was there. That’s because it’s in what looks like an old warehouse with only a small logo on the front window saying Windrose Urban Farm. Thanks to a commercial facade grant announced there Monday by Mayor Tom Henry, the business, which employs people with disabilities and employment challenges will have a better look in the future.

“A lot of people don’t know they’re here on Lafayette, it’s a very nondescript building. Through investing some of the city grant money, as well as the private sector, the company itself stepping up, they’re going to really make this a showcase in the future,” says Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry.

The commercial facade grant was introduced by Mayor Henry in 2008, and by year’s end, more than one hundred Facade Grant projects will have been completed.

“We’re actually going to paint the entire building, and then we’re going to put up some gutters across the front of it to do a rainwater catch so that we don’t have as much water to deal with, and then the third thing is we’re going to paint a mural on the outside depicting what Windrose is all about,” says Board Chair for Windrose Urban Farm, Stacey Smith.

Windrose Urban Farm grows mushrooms that are sold to local restaurants and will soon start growing luffa sponges on a property they purchased just east of their building.

The city will invest just over $200,000 into the projects for all nine that received a commercial facade grant Monday, with more than $400,000 additionally being invested by the businesses.

Jon Wilson

Jon Wilson is the Weekend Meteorologist at Fort Wayne’s NBC. You can catch Jon’s weekend forecasts on Fort Wayne’s NBC at 6 and 11 p.m.

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