Façade Rehabilitation Grant Program

Put Your Business Out in Front!

Last updated Aug. 18, 2015 - 2:15 pm
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Call it superficial-but when it comes to doing business, beauty and profit start on the outside. And that's precisely what the City of Raleigh had in mind when developing the Façade Rehabilitation Grant Program.

There's no denying it: First impressions really do count. What your customers and-more important-what your potential customers see when they look at your business from the street can make or break your relationship with them. But, with the expenses associated with growing any type of enterprise in today's marketplace, who can afford to worry about what the outside of a business looks like? With the help available from the City of Raleigh, you can.

Established in the 1980s to assist businesses and property owners in Raleigh's Downtown and older commercial districts, the Façade Grant Program has helped more than 100 businesses put a new "face" on the way they market their goods and services. Providing up to $10,000 in grant rebates for each project, this program makes it possible for businesses of any size to refurbish the exterior of existing buildings-restoring them to their former glory or reinventing them for exciting new directions.

Funding and Eligibility

Before and After Fayetteville Street

How does the Façade Grant Program work?
For businesses located in Downtown, the University Village Pedestrian Business Overlay District or in one of the City's other Pedestrian Business Overlay Districts, funds for the exterior rehabilitation of existing buildings are available on a first-come, first-service basis once every 10 years.

What types of improvements qualify for funding?
Façade Grant funds are available for the following façade improvements:

  • Removal of false fronts (such as aluminum panels)
  • Repair or replacement of windows, doors and cornices
  • Repair or replacement of façade materials
  • New signage
  • New awnings
  • Exterior lighting
  • Exterior painting (when associated with a larger rehabilitation effort)
  • Design and construction costs

Routine maintenance is NOT eligible for funding by the Façade Grant program.

How much funding am I eligible for?
For businesses located in the University Village Pedestrian Business Overlay District, grant rebates of up to $10,000 or 50% of exterior rehabilitation costs (whichever is less) are available.

For businesses in Downtown or in one of the other Pedestrian Business Overlay Districts, up to $5,000 or 50% of exterior rehabilitation costs (whichever is less) are available.


Before and After Hargett Street

How do I qualify for a Façade Grant?
For those inside the University Village Pedestrian Business Overlay District, the following criteria must be met:

For other Pedestrian Business Overlay Districts, the criteria of the applicable streetscape plan for the area in which the business is located must be met.

For those in Downtown, applications will be reviewed based upon compliance with the Downtown Urban Design and Façade Grant Guidelines (Table DT-1) of the Downtown Element section of the City's 2030 Comprehensive Plan.

Are there other eligibility requirements?
In addition to the criteria previously mentioned, applicants for the Façade Grant Program must also meet the following requirements:

  • Property owners or business tenants may apply
  • Tenant applicants must have the building owner's written approval
  • All applications must be submitted and approved prior to beginning construction
  • Rehabilitation work must comply with all applicable Raleigh city codes, ordinances and policies
  • Projects involving a local historic landmark building or located within a City-designated Historic District must receive approval from the Raleigh Historic Districts Commission
  • Work must adhere to the plans and renderings as approved by the City of Raleigh Department of City Planning
  • Work must be completed within 12 months of the date of project approval
  • Applicant must agree to maintain the façade for a period of 10 years
  • Upon completion and review of the work, the applicant must submit proof of payment (e.g., paid invoices) for the rehabilitation in order to receive reimbursement from the city.

Who do I contact about the Façade Grant Program?

Before and After Wilmington Street

Beth Nooe
Raleigh Urban Design Center
Department of City Planning
220 Fayetteville Street, Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27601

Looking for a way to increase customer traffic, gain more exposure and build the brand for your business? Sure you are! And, with the City's Façade Grant Program, you can do all of these things without having to spend a hefty portion of your annual budget. Call today to find out how to get started!

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