$300,000 awarded for tourism development project in Hastings

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$300,000 awarded for tourism development project in Hastings

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) has awarded the City of Hastings with $300,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding in the Tourism Development category to convert a historic downtown building into an arts and cultural center.

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) has awarded the City of Hastings with $300,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding in the Tourism Development category to convert a historic downtown building into an arts and cultural center.

In turn, the City will award the funding to The Listening Room, a local nonprofit organization that has organized 10-12 performances of national musicians yearly to perform in downtown Hastings. The Listening Room has served the community for 21 years, scheduling performances accommodating 80-180 patrons depending on available facilities throughout the area.

The Listening Room concert series already attracts visitors from throughout the state and neighboring states. With the additional space, the new facility is expected to attract even greater numbers of people from Nebraska and other states.

Named “The Lark,” the renovated two-story historic building will feature a performance venue on the first floor, equipped with acoustic treatments and noise control functions, sound and lighting equipment, and a raised, adjustable stage, as well as ADA-compliant restrooms and a catering kitchen. The performance space will be easy to modify to accommodate conferences and receptions. The mezzanine level will feature two balconies that overlook the stage and two fully-equipped conference rooms for rent. The Lark will also provide The Listening Room with a permanent home. The second floor will house six offices—one for The Listening Room director and five for rent.

An additional $507,000 in local leveraged funds and donations will complete the project
The City of Hastings Community Redevelopment Authority, which advocates the redevelopment and preservation of the historic downtown district, was instrumental in providing the building with a low cost lease to The Listening Room.

Federal funds are made available to DED from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s CDBG program to assist with the development of businesses and communities throughout the state. Funding requests for the program are administered by DED and available to local governments with populations less than 50,000 and counties in Nebraska.

For information about the Hastings project, contact Joe Patterson at 402-461-2323, or jpatterson@cityofhastings.org .

For information about CDBG Tourism Development funding, contact Steve Charleston at 800-426-6505, 402-471-3757, or steve.charleston@nebraska.gov .
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