Local developer receives grant for new project in downtown Kearney

Local4 News at 6
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 8:37 AM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The City of Kearney is actively making an effort to rehabilitate downtown. They’re partnering with the Community Redevelopment Authority and Downtown Improvement Board to award grants to several downtown businesses.

They awarded grants range from $2,500 to $18,000 with Sayler Enterprises receiving $18,000.

Owner Kyle Sayler said to receive the grant money, he needed to have his plan fully developed.

He will be redeveloping Don’s Hobby Guns into retail suites for local businesses. This is the first time he will be renovating a building this large. When he saw the building he knew it was going to need some work; and said it’s all about helping small businesses get their start. In fact, he found a way to double the amount of space in the building.

“Whenever I took over there was pretty much two units available,” said Sayler. “We are going to expand that and actually have four units upstairs available. There is currently a salon there, Black Diamond Salon. They’re staying, they do great work, happy to keep them there. But we are going to have three more units upstairs.”

Sayler said the grant will cover the cost of installing new windows. The idea is to fill the building with natural light; suites will vary in size. He already has verbal commitments to fill them. He didn’t disclose the name of those businesses because he wants to do so when renovations are complete; and that is scheduled for spring 2024. Black Diamond Salon will remain a tenant; Sayler said this project is about keeping downtown filled with small businesses.

“That’s what small businesses are all about. I honestly, I own a small business, Sayler Screenprinting and it was just, I’ve helped a few other people towards the right path and get their small business off the ground and I just found so much reward from that,” said Sayler. “So I felt like this was the next stage in helping multiple other small businesses kind of get off the ground.”

Sayler said every business in the building will be a startup. He said helping someone carry out their vision brings him a lot of joy. Adding more small businesses will enhance the experience of downtown Kearney. Adding, small businesses have to take the lead when it comes to creating a sense of community.

“It’s really nice having your neighbor to lean on for those business questions, and I really love it. Downtown they have a lot of foot traffic and that’s really enjoyable when one person can go from one shop to the other to the other it truly just enhances the experience of downtown. So that’s why I like to keep things a little bit close knit.”

He wants people to take their passions from their garages to downtown.

“Really want these small business owners to take a lot of pride in this location. Because I know I have a lot of sweat {laughter} a lot of blood, sweat, and tears have went into this building and I just really want some small business owners to enjoy it and hopefully find the success that I have with starting up a small business.”

He wants new business owners to view him as a mentor and his commercial building as a springboard for future success.

2023 award recipients

$18,000 - Design Matters, Sayler Enterprises, Gary Michaels Clothiers, Celebration on Central & Kearney Combat Sports

$10,000 - Olivia’s Salon

$6,000 - Paddy O’Mally’s, Suite Child, Bruce Furniture

$2,500 - Olde Towne Alchemy, The World Theatre