Façade program changes again

Published 9:45 pm Wednesday, March 9, 2011

After changing its façade grant program in November, the Economic Development Authority made more tweaks to the program’s requirements at its Wednesday meeting.

Most significantly, the authority’s council-appointed members now must vote to approve each project before work begins. Previously, projects were approved administratively.

The program is designed to help commercial property owners in certain areas of the city rehabilitate their buildings and properties. The owners receive up to 50 percent of the cost of improvements reimbursed after the project is completed, up to a maximum of $10,000.

Email newsletter signup

Business owners in downtown’s Historic Conservation Overlay District, in the villages and along the city’s “gateway corridors” — Portsmouth Boulevard, Washington Street, Holland Road, Pruden Boulevard, Nansemond Parkway and Carolina Road — are eligible to use the program. They can improve their signage and awnings, and repair or replace their windows, bricks or masonry, siding and doors using the grant. The funds cannot be used for regular maintenance.

In November, changes to the program included requiring applicants to obtain two estimates of the cost before beginning work, and to submit those estimates with their application. In addition, simply painting the exterior of a building no longer qualifies, but painting does qualify if it is done in conjunction with some other rehabilitation work.

For more information on the façade grant program, visit www.yessuffolk.com.