Facade & Streetscape Improvement/Beautification Program

What is a Façade & Streetscape Improvement/Beautification Program?

The Village wishes to encourage and support building and business owner investment in the upgrade of their existing building storefront. The Façade & Streetscape Improvement Program is a process where the Village will provide a 50% matching grant to Niles business or building owners who construct eligible improvements to the facades and streetscapes of their buildings. The Village will match dollar-for-dollar an owner’s investment in eligible improvements to the appearance of their building’s storefront façade and streetscape up to a maximum amount of $15,000. The building or business owner who has funded the majority of the improvements must apply for and be approved in order to receive the 50% matching grant. The following provides the program’s criteria for eligibility and the approval process.

Purpose

  • The purpose of the  Façade and Streetscape Improvement Grant Program is to provide financial assistance for the design and construction of façade improvements which are in keeping with the Village Comprehensive Plan.
  • The program is also intended to provide financial assistance for capital improvement projects completed in conjunction with a façade improvement project.
  • This program is a public/private partnership designed to provide incentives and assistance to encourage building improvements that preserve the character of the Village and that help create a human scale and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere within the Village.

Eligible Properties and Applicants

  • All commercially operated buildings within the Niles Business Districts located in C-Zoning Districts which are located with in a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District. are eligible for the Façade & Streetscape Improvement/Beautification Program.
  • Only one grant will be awarded per building within a five-year period.
  • Only improvements to facades and streetscapes that directly front a public right-of-way are eligible for funding.
  • Any building with a zoning or building code violation is not eligible for the program.
  • Any commercial building owner, or business owner with building owner authorization, may apply for the grant.

Eligible Improvements

The following improvements are eligible to receive funding through the program. Three of the eligible requirements must be incorporated into the overall improvements. A building or business owner who is undertaking an improvement project that includes a portion of the eligible improvements may apply for the matching grant, but only the improvements identified below will be eligible for funding.

Improvements Eligible for Façade Grant Funding

  • Exterior Doors and Storefront Windows
  • Streetscape Elements
  • Landscaping
  • Painting
  • Shutters and Awnings
  • Stairs, Porches, Railings
  • Wall Façade Repair & Treatment
  • Exterior Lighting
  • Roofs visible from the Street
  • Original Architectural Features repair or replacement
  • Signage Repair or Replacement free standing pole or monument signs are not an eligible improvement. 
  • All requests for signage as part of the façade program are subject to further review
  • Improvements for ADA compliance

 Ineligible Projects

The Façade & Streetscape Improvement/Beautification Program will not provide funds for working capital, debt refinancing, equipment/inventory acquisition, application fees, permit fees, legal fees, plumbing repair/improvements, HVAC repair/improvements, parking lot resurfacing, or interior remodeling.


Applications


Facade Improvement Application (PDF)

Terms


The terms of the program are as follows:
  • Grants are issued in the form of reimbursements after eligible expenses are incurred (receipts or other acceptable proof of payment are required).
  • Reimbursement is limited to a maximum of 50% of verified eligible expenses.
  • Maximum grant amount to be awarded to a single project under the program is $15,000 (50% of $30,000 of verified eligible expenses). 
  • The program may not be used by the same applicant to renovate the same store front (tenant space) more than once.
  • The current annual funding for the program is $100,000 per and is subject to adjustment in conjunction with the Village’s budget process.