COMMERCIAL FAÇADE REBATE/LOAN PROGRAM
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Application Form


GUIDELINES & PROCEDURES
  Rebate Component
Loan Component
  Eligible Applicants/Area Maps
Eligible Improvements
Step-by-Step Procedures

REBATE COMPONENT
The Commercial Façade Rebate is a cash rebate of up to a maximum of $5,000. These funds are not required to be repaid. Funds can be used to make improvements to commercial properties at a reduced out of pocket expense to the owner.

Cash rebates for materials, fixtures, supplies, and labor in conjunction with exterior improvements approved by the City will be reimbursed at 50%, up to a maximum of $5,000. Professional, architectural, and City permit fees may be included in the total Façade improvement costs. Rebates will be made after improvements are completed. Receipt of the rebate is subject to an inspection by City staff and the submission of complete documentation of project costs, including invoices and/or contracts, the applicant's canceled checks or receipts showing the costs have been paid in full, copies of building permits, and all contractors' waivers of liens (labor and materials releases).
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LOAN COMPONENT
If a business owner would like to do a little more to their commercial building, the Commercial Façade Loan is an unsecured loan of up to $5,000 with no interest. With flexible repayment terms, no required security and no loan fees, this is a no cost source of financing to enhance commercial property.

Providing a facelift for commercial properties can:

  small gray arrow Enhance efforts to market vacant spaces and attract new businesses and customers.
  small gray arrow Stimulate new, private investment and economic growth.
  small gray arrow Increase security features of a commercial building and reduce the perception of crime.

An unsecured loan of up to $5,000 can be used separately or in conjunction with the rebate program. Loan funds may not be used as matching funds for the rebate. The dollar amount borrowed will be amortized and repaid within the corresponding year. For example, if $1,000 is borrowed, it will be amortized and repaid over one year; $2,000 will be repaid in two years; $3,000 in three years; and, so on up to $5,000. There will be no interest on these loans and, upon re-payment, the monies will be available to be re-lent, creating a revolving funding source. A promissory note and loan agreement will be executed between the City and the business tenant or property owner. Loan proceeds will be distributed as invoices for labor and / or materials are submitted to and approved by City staff, normally within a two-week time frame.

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ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS/AREAS
Owners and tenants of commercial property located in the downtown revitalization area as shown inside the blue line on this map, as well as any commercial properties located North Broadway to Williams Street and South Broadway to Stowell Road, and West Main Street to Blosser Road, and East Main Street to the Highway 101 are eligible to apply for assistance under the following circumstances:

  1. The business is a neighborhood business that serves an area where at least 51 percent of the residents are low and moderate income persons (L/M area), and the business is able to demonstrate the boundaries of its service area. The City will determine if the area served is a L/M area.

  2. Tenants of commercial property must be able to provide documentation of the property owner's consent of the improvements at the time of application. Written consent may either be in the form of a lease indicating the lessee's responsibility for property renovation and repair or documentation of the property owner's agreement to the proposed rehabilitation.

    Tenants of Commercial Property Map

In addition to the downtown revitalization area, any commercial properties fronting on Broadway between Williams Street on the North and Stowell Road on the South, and on Main Street between Blosser Road on the West and Highway 101 on the East (as illustrated on the map below), are eligible to apply:

Tenants of Commercial Property Map
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ELIGIBLE IMPROVEMENTS
Remodeling, installation and additions to the commercial building façade are eligible for grant funds. These funds are for modification to the facade and not for normal maintenance and repair. Specific improvements the funds can be used for are: new paint, signs, awnings, shutters, doors, windows, siding, fencing, driveway pavers, landscaping, exterior lighting and modifications, streetscaping including brickwork, statues, fountains, and pedestrian features.

cartoon graphic of a paint brush Paint and Color cartoon graphic of a paint can and roller

New paint and a change of color can improve the façade. Exterior cleaning and painting (including the use of graphics to create the illusion of façade forms) are eligible costs.

  Signage cartoon graphic of a sign

The grant encourages the removal of old inappropriate signs. The new signs are to be compatible with the building or storefront and meet the sign code. Compatibility with building must have certificate of appropriateness from the city, but the final determination for eligibility for grant funding will be by the grant committee.

  cartoon graphic of an awning     Awnings and Shutters cartoon graphic of shutters on a window

Awnings or shutters can be an addition or replacement of existing awnings or shutters. The awnings/shutters should be compatible with the building. Installation of awnings should be above a storefront opening or along the storefront to provide protection from the elements for the pedestrian. Also, the awning may be used as a sign when appropriate.

drawing of a door  Doors and Windows drawing of a window

Installation of new entry doors including updating doors with handicapped access. Window replacement, repair and installation can help with marketing merchandise and add to the visual attractiveness of a business.

cartoon graphic of siding Siding and Application of Plaster

Siding is an eligible improvement when it is compatible to the architectural character of the building and application of new exterior plaster, including the use of plaster to create new façade form, are eligible costs.

cartoon graphic of a fence  Fencing cartoon graphic of a fence 

The incorporation of fencing provides character to a façade, a streetscape or the addition of a courtyard feature, as part of the rehabilitation of the building is eligible. This can add more that visual attractiveness, but provide for additional security.

Driveway Pavers / Asphalt Driveway & Parking

An upgrade of an existing asphalt driveway to pavers is an improvement that provides an attractive entryway to the business. Repairs, replacement and installation of asphalt driveways and parking lot stripping are also an eligible use for the façade funds. The grant funds are not available for paving or normal maintenance of a parking lot without streetscape improvements to the lot.

cartoon graphic of a man laying down lawn Landscaping   cartoon graphic of a man carrying a tree for planting and a shovel

The introduction of landscaping materials to accentuate a building's features or add to the pedestrian environment is a recommended improvement. Some recommended improvements are the addition of at-grade, raised or portable planters. The addition of planters to a building's parking lot is eligible when the lot is visible and a focal point from the street. The grant funds are not available for paving or normal maintenance of a parking lot without streetscape improvements to the lot.

  cartoon graphic of exterior lighting Exterior Lighting

The provision, improvement and addition of exterior lighting that enhances a building façade and improves the pedestrian environment by illuminating the sidewalk are eligible.

  Streetscaping  cartoon graphic of a street fountain

The introduction of streetscape elements such as brick and block pavers, planter and landscape materials, statues, fountains and pedestrian features to upgrade the attractiveness of the storefront promenade as well as Application of ceramic tile on walls to accent openings and installation of low plaster or masonry walls to create private entry courts.

Other Improvements

Other improvements evaluated to meet program criteria and approved on a case-by-case basis by City staff.

Labor costs are subject to review and approval by City staff. Since the funding for this program is provided through the Federal Community Development Block Grant Program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), any project in excess of $2,000 requires compliance with Federal Labor Standards Provisions and the payment of Davis-Bacon prevailing wages. Before obtaining bids for any work to be done under the program, please contact the Special Projects Division to obtain a copy of the applicable current wage schedule and Federal Labor Standards.

All improvements must conform with the City Building Codes and Planning requirements and the Westside Revitalization Project Design Guidelines. Participants' proposals will be subject to design review by the City. Project improvements started prior to City approval will not be eligible.

City staff will be available to work closely with applicants, providing design assistance for new façade and sign improvements. Special Projects Division staff will assist applicants in the coordination of their project with the Planning and Building Divisions and the Public Works Department.


Step 1:
The program is explained to the potential applicant by Special Projects Division staff. The initial contact should determine if the proposed activities are within the program guidelines. Program guidelines will be reviewed, and the application form will be provided to the potential applicant. An appointment may be made at this time for façade or sign design assistance with City staff.
 
Step 2:
The tenant or property owner fills out the application form and returns it to the Special Projects Division. If the applicant is not the property owner, documentation will be required proving the applicant has the authorization of the property owner to perform the façade work.
 
Step 3:
The application is reviewed by the Special Projects Division to determine whether the activities are within the program guidelines.
 
Step 4:
Preliminary plans (two copies), color samples, awning and sign designs (if included), and a preliminary budget should be submitted by the applicant for review and approval by Special Projects Division staff. Labor costs must be reviewed and approved by Special Projects Division staff. (NOTE: All information should be submitted together.) Since the funding for this program is provided through the Federal Community Development Block Grant Program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), any project in excess of $2,000 requires compliance with Federal Labor Standards Provisions and the payment of Davis-Bacon prevailing wages. Before obtaining bids for any work to be done under the program, please contact the Special Projects Division to obtain a copy of the applicable current wage schedule and Federal Labor Standards..
 
Step 5:
Upon approval of the preliminary plans, the applicant should prepare and submit final plans, specifications, and detailed cost estimates to the Special Projects Division. If the final plans are consistent with the approved preliminary plans, the staff will review and approve them. The rebate and/or loan amount will be contingent upon the actual costs associated with the final plans.
 
Step 6:
If improvements require building permits, applicants must submit final plans to the Building Division. Special Projects Division staff will advise applicants of the need for permits and of the requirements of other City departments. No work should be started before the applicant is given authorization to proceed. The cost of work performed prior to authorization will not be reimbursed by the City..
 
Step 7:
The approved building permit is submitted to the Special Projects Division. If revised cost estimates are necessary, these should be submitted at this time. Upon approval of these documents, participants of the loan component will execute a promissory note and loan agreement with the City. Participants of the rebate component will receive an approval letter indicating the estimated rebate, and giving authorization to proceed. This letter requires the applicant to complete improvements within 180 days from the date of approval and states that partial completion of the project will void all agreements. If the façade improvements are part of an overall larger rehabilitation, the maximum time requirement will be established accordingly and so documented in the approval letter.
 
Step 8:
As each phase of the project is completed, the applicant submits an itemized invoice to the Special Projects Division with documentation as necessary. Upon staff approval of the invoice, payment will be made directly to the applicant, normally within two weeks of approval.
 
Step 9:
Special Projects Division staff examines the finished work for compliance with the final approved plans and any approved change orders.
 
Step 10:
If the work is in compliance with the guidelines, a final loan proceeds check or rebate check is sent to the applicant within thirty (30) days of Special Projects Division's receipt of complete documentation.
 
Step 11:
Under the loan component of the program, loan payments are made to the City over a one- to five-year period, depending upon the amount borrowed.