The city of Guadalupe is receiving a $4.9 million federal grant to improve its tourism infrastructure and amenities.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced the grant Tuesday. It’s funded by the American Rescue Plan.
The grant will facilitate the renovation of the historic Royal Theater Building, developing it into a centrally located visitor attraction to stimulate local commercial activity. This EDA grant will be matched with $314,879 in local funds and is expected to create 507 jobs, retain 176 jobs and generate $11.4 million in private investment.
“The city spent about $500,000 in funds to have an architect design and provide architectural and engineering estimates to upgrade the existing theater and design for the contemporary style structure attached on the rear,” City Administrator Todd Bodern told the News-Press in an email. “The city applied for, and the building was granted, to be placed on the National Registry of Historic Places,”
The building is only used and owned by the city for performing arts purposes. The EDA grant will help to fund the cost to restore and bring the building up to code as well as add a contemporary style building to the backside, according to Mr. Bodern.
“The American Rescue Plan has been vital to economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I’m proud of my vote that has delivered billions in support for the Central Coast since it was signed early last year,” U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, said in a news release announcing the grant for the city in northern Santa Barbara County. “I am pleased to see the city of Guadalupe continue to benefit from our landmark bill. With this new grant, Guadalupe will build on our region’s ongoing recovery: preserving jobs and creating new opportunities.”
Secretary Raimondo said the grant will help the area’s “critical tourism sector not only recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic but build back stronger for the future.”
“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally-driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will support the development of an attractive tourist destination in Guadalupe that can serve as a centerpiece of the local community,”
This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in 2021 to all 50 states and territories. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors.