DOWNTOWN BELOIT FACADE GRANT PROGRAM
Facade Grant Program and Application
PURPOSE OF THE GRANT PROGRAM
It shall be the objective of this matching grant program to provide assistance for the maintenance, rehabilitation, and upgrading of existing commercial properties within the Business Improvement District. The programs intention is to encourage business growth and to make a positive statement about the Beloit business climate to the community, visitors, existing and potential business tenants.
SPONSORS: The matching grant program is funded by an allocation of Business Improvement District (BID) funds from the Downtown Beloit Association. All projects must be approved by the Downtown Beloit Association’s Design Committee.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: All taxable commercial properties located within the Business Improvement District (see Design Guidelines tab above) are eligible for this program, with the exception of publicly owned buildings. All properties must be in conforming use under the City’s zoning ordinance except a commercial use that is non-conforming due to lot, bulk, or yard requirements and/or for which a variance has been granted. For the purpose of this program, no income producing residential properties will be considered as commercial properties. Properties will not be eligible if any special improvement district or property assessments are not paid to date. Grants will only be given for buildings with outstanding building code violations if the grant is primarily intended to reverse those code violations as a first priority. Only one grant per year per property owner and or tenant per building or address will be allowed. Grant application must be received before work begins.
APPLICANTS: Owners, leasers, or a joint venture of these two parties may submit an application under this grant program. Tenants must submit written approval of the property owner and evidence of their leasehold interest.
GRANT TERMS: Grants made under this program shall be a minimum $500 and shall not exceed $1,000 per building. The applicant is expected to provide at least a 50% match or his or her own capital to the total project cost. Grants will only be given for projects that have a minimum investment of $1,000 per building. Grant monies will only be distributed after a project is completed and certified. The Design Committee reserves the right to offer matching grants in anywhere in the range of $500 and $1,000 based on need and or overall physical impact on the build environment.
ELIGIBLE EXPENSES: Facade grant money shall only be used for exterior repairs and renovations on commercial storefronts and facades which front on public streets, alleys or parking areas.
Exterior eligible expenses include but are not limited to the following:
1. Repair and/or replacement of original building materials and decorative details which are deteriorated or missing.
2. Repair of non-original materials which cannot be removed due to deterioration of the underlying original building material.
3. Design and maintenance improvements made to the front, rear, or side building elevations.
4. Cleaning of exterior building surfaces.
5. Tuckpointing and masonry repair.
7. Repair, replacement or addition of entrances, doors, display windows, transoms, or second story windows.
8. Removal and/or repair of existing signs and awnings. Additions or signs and awnings that are compatible to the downtown Design Guidelines.
9. Other items that are viewed as necessary or complimentary to the properties exterior renovation as accepted by the Design Committee.
10. Exterior improvements for the handicapped including but not limited to ramps, doors, door openers, walks, guardrails, non-slip materials, or level platforms at doors.
INELIGIBLE EXPENSES: Roofing repairs, construction of all new buildings, purchase of property, buildings, equipment, fixtures and furnishings, inventory or operating capital: any renovation activity completed prior to receiving final approval of loan funds; improvements not approved by the Design Committee.
DESIGN STANDARDS: The Downtown Beloit Design Guidelines will be the standards by which all proposed projects will be judged by the Design Committee for appropriateness. (see attachments) Properties on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places shall conform to the Department of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation and local Landmarks requirements.
ELIGIBILITY SCREENING: Interested persons should contact the Downtown Beloit Association to discuss the initial renovation plans and to determine if the proposed project appears to be eligible for grant assistance under the terms and conditions of this grant program.
APPLICATION SUBMITTAL: To be formally considered for a grant request an application (attached) must be completed in full and submitted to the Downtown Beloit Association.
APPLICATION REVIEW: DBA staff shall review submittals to determine that all information is complete and accurate. The Design Committee will then review all applications to assure compliance with the Design Guidelines. If the proposed design does not meet the Design Guidelines the Design Committee will meet with the applicant to discuss solutions to meet the grant eligibility requirements. Once the design is approved the applicant will receive a letter of intent from the DBA that commits the DBA to provide the grant money to the applicant after the project is completed and certified. If there are mitigating circumstances that do not allow an applicant to comply with the approved plan the applicant may, with minor changes, receive approval for a modified plan from DBA staff. More involved modifications of approved plans will have to be reviewed and approved by the Design Committee. Once a plan is approved (with or without modifications) it must be adhered to. Should an applicant deviate substantially from the approved plan, the Downtown Beloit Association will not release the grant money.
DRAWING DOWN GRANT MONEY: If all the following conditions are met, the Downtown Beloit Association will provide the applicant with a certificate of completion indicating that the applicant has acted in good faith and has completed the project satisfactorily and the Downtown Beloit Association will release a check made out to the applicant to the amount agreed upon in the contract. Certificates of completion will be released when:
Applicant supplies documentation that any permits required under the City’s Building and Zoning Codes have been taken out.
All work is completed within the time period agreed upon or amended between the applicant and the Downtown Beloit Association.
All work completed follows the agreed upon design.
Documentation of Applicants matching investment must be supplied.