In 2017, CoSign, a program of the National Sign Museum put out a call for a national launch of their turn-key placemaking neighborhood revitalization program. Downtown Iowa City partnered with MidWestOne Bank and the City of Iowa City and was one of six chosen communities. Upon the completion of the program, Downtown unveiled 12 new pedestrian-oriented projecting blade signs that were locally designed and fabricated custom for the downtown businesses. In 2019, the program expanded to include incentives for signage, merchandising, doorways, and other storefront enhancements.
For 2021, the program returns with matching funds, once again, with the intent to provide meaningful design for signage and storefront enhancements. For this year’s program applications with a focus on projecting signage, awnings/canopies, take-out windows, transparency, and lighting will be eligible. Downtown District businesses that are interested in the program should read the full application process and follow the steps to applying.