In the fall of 2006, Missouri Governor Roy Blunt designated the City of Cape Girardeau as a DREAM Community. Governor Blunt created the DREAM (Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri) Initiative to help Missouri communities strengthen their downtowns. The task of the DREAM Initiative was to identify the opportunities and constraints in Cape Girardeau’s downtown, and to develop a plan for its sustainability. The process was a collaborative effort between the City of Cape Girardeau; Old Town Cape, Inc.; the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce; the Missouri Arts Council; the Missouri Department of Economic Development; the Missouri Development Finance Board; and the Missouri Housing Development Commission. The consulting firm PGAV (Peckham, Guyton, Albers & Viets, Inc.) was hired to facilitate the process and to prepare the plan.

Similar to the City’s Comprehensive Plan, the Downtown Strategic Plan contains an assessment of existing conditions, established goals and objectives, and recommendations for implementation. It was also developed with substantial input from the public.

Since being designated a DREAM Community, Cape Girardeau has received over $2.5 million in grants. Grant funds have supported downtown programs ranging from building renovations and street improvements to community events.

Funds received with the assistance of the DREAM Initiative:

$ 400,000 Community Block Grant Funds for Fountain Street Extension
$ 185,000 MODOT Enhancement Funds for Fountain Street Extension Project
$ 102,000 Home Repair Opportunity (HeRO) Program funds to repair five homes in the DREAM Initiative Boundaries
$ 5,000          Missouri Arts Council DREAM Art Builds Communities Grant funds for Storytelling Festival (Money was specifically earmarked for DREAM Communities)
$ 5,000 Missouri Arts Council DREAM Art Builds Communities Grant funds for Tunes at Twilight
$ 600,000 State & Federal tax credits from the Missouri Housing Development commission for the private renovation of the Schultz School into affordable senior housing
$ 250,000 Community Development Block Grant Funds for Schultz School for conversion into affordable senior housing
$ 70,000 Missouri Heritage Properties Program grant funds to help replace the HVAC system in the Common Pleas Courthouse
$ 370,800 Community Development Block Grant funds for Riverfront Parking & Public Restroom Facility
$ 126,235 Preserve America Funds (although not DREAM funds, Federal designation in which DREAM was leveraged for grant funding)
$ 228,000 Redevelopment planning funds for the entire DREAM process
Total: $ 2,592,035 received for projects