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  • Downtown Façade Matching Grants Program Frequently Asked Questions



    What is the targeted area?  


    Buildings must be located in the Historic District or along William Street up to and including the 600 block (Barton Street). 


    Who is eligible to apply?

    Commercial building owners and business tenants in commercial buildings in the above described areas.

    What façade improvements qualify?

    Painting, replacement of missing historic elements, modification or removal of inappropriate alterations, repairs and restoration of windows, cornices, trim, etc., awnings, shutters and signs.  Painting only projects are not eligible.

    How and when do I apply and when do I find out about the grant?

    After meeting with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, submit an application by March 1, June 1, September 1 or December 1. The EDA’s decisions are made within 45 days.

    How much are the grants and when are they paid?

    The grants are not to exceed 50% of the project cost, up to a maximum $10,000 grant. For projects involving painting and maintenance only, the grant limit is $5,000 and not more than 1/3 of the project cost. Grant funds are paid upon project completion.

    What are the improvement guidelines?

    Guidelines for improvements are contained in the Historic District Handbook, prepared by the Architectural Review Board and available at no cost in the office of Community Planning and Building Department.

    Who approves the grants and what criteria are used?

    Grants are approved by the Board of Directors of the EDA. The EDA considers the following criteria in each round of applications: adherence to application and design guidelines, economic development value, other potential positive impact, visual prominence of the façade, degree of deteriorating conditions and comprehensiveness of the project.

    Is technical assistance available?

    Grants are available for half the cost of professional design services, up to a maximum grant of $500. The application dates are the same as above. Grant recipients are to apply for an improvement matching grant in the next cycle or reimburse the EDA grant.

    If the grant is approved, when do I have to complete the improvements?

    Work must start within 120 days of grant approval and be completed within six months, unless the EDA sets a shorter or longer deadline in its approval.

    Do I need ARB approval and permits to apply?

    If the property is in the Historic District, ARB approval may be required. If required, the Certificate of Appropriateness must be submitted with the application. For questions, please contact the Community Planning and Building Department at (540) 372-1179. The process takes thirty (30) – sixty (60) days from application to ARB action. Copies of any required building and sign permits must be provided to the EDA.

    Are the EDA’s grants funded by taxpayer dollars?

    The EDA grants do not come from city tax dollars, but rather from fees collected on bonds issued by the EDA.



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