Program Goal:

The goal of the Community Development Investment (CDI) Grant Program is to incent primarily downtown community development in the state of Wisconsin.

This program primarily supports the following WEDC Strategic Pillar and Focus Area:

Community and Economic Opportunity: Community Development

Program Description:

The program will support urban, small city and rural community redevelopment efforts by providing financial incentives for shovel-ready projects with emphasis on, but not limited to, downtown community-driven efforts. Funded activities should lead to measurable benefits in job opportunities, property values and/or leveraged investment by local and private partners.

Eligibility Requirements:


“Designated Rural County” means a county with a population density of less than 155 residents per square mile as of the 2010 Census.

Municipalities (including counties, cities, villages and towns), tribal entities and other governmental authorities designated by a municipality to apply on its behalf will be eligible to receive grant assistance under the following restrictions:

  • Grant recipients must provide a minimum 3:1 match investment in project costs.
  • No more than 30 percent of the match investment may consist of other state and/or federal grant sources.
  • Applicants must provide a signed resolution by the governing elected body authorizing the submittal of an application to the CDI Grant Program.
  • Generally, applicants may only receive one CDI Grant per fiscal year; applicants within Designated Rural Counties may receive more than one grant per year, based on available funding.
  • An applicant that was impacted by an event that has resulted in a State or Federal Disaster Declaration within the 24 months prior to submitting an application may receive funds for mitigation or preparedness planning and will receive additional considerations including the following:
    • WEDC may reduce or waive the match requirements
    • Applicants must demonstrate that all other funding mechanisms (CSBG, WI Disaster Fund, FEMA, etc.) have been evaluated and fully utilized before applying for WEDC CDI Grant funding.

Eligible activities include:

  • Building renovation
  • Historic preservation
  • Demolition
  • New construction
  • Infrastructure investment
  • Project or site development planning

Eligible projects are:

  • Development of significant destination attractions
  • Rehabilitation and reuse of underutilized or landmark buildings
  • Infill development
  • Historic preservation
  • Infrastructure efforts, including disaster prevention measures, providing substantial benefit to downtown residents/property owners
  • Mixed-use developments (not exclusively residential)

Activities ineligible for grant assistance or match include, but are not limited to:

  • Past costs
  • In-kind contributions
  • Indirect construction costs (a.k.a. “soft” costs)

WEDC will take the following into account when considering a CDI Grant:

  • Impact on the community
  • Financial justification
  • Previous planning efforts
  • Readiness to proceed
  • Involvement of public-private partnerships
  • Other factors determined by WEDC

Incentives and Available Funding (FY19): $5,000,000

The grants will be limited to 25% of eligible project costs, with a maximum grant amount of up to $250,000.

At least 50% of the funds will be awarded to cities/towns within Designated Rural Counties.

Activities and Expected Outcomes:

Assist 12 communities and achieve 22:1 leverage of other investment.

Performance Reporting:

Recipients will be required to semi-annually submit a performance report document capital investment and assessed taxable property values, as well as any other contract deliverable.

WEDC may impose additional reporting requirements to evaluate project performance and to ensure compliance with contract deliverables.

Application and Awards Process:

The CDI Program has a continuous application process. Applicants for a CDI Grant should complete an application through a regional economic development director. The completed application will be assigned to an underwriter and will go through the award review process.

For more information on application review, internal process and award distribution, please refer to WEDC’s award administration policies and procedures.