Façade Improvement Matching Grant Program
About the Program
DART recognizes that the condition of the buildings in Montrose forms the basis of the public’s overall impression of the community and reflects the vibrancy and historical value of the area. The Façade Improvement Matching Grant Program (“Façade Improvement Grant”) has been designed to award DART funds as an incentive program for ongoing revitalization. Improvements to the exterior façades (front, back, or side) will support the purpose of DART to promote developing Montrose as an attractive, vibrant place where people converge, businesses thrive, and values rise.
This matching grant program will provide leverage to property owners for projects and enhance the functionality of properties. It is also intended to encourage compatibility between structures that have been renovated and those that have not to increase the overall aesthetic experience of Montrose.
What conditions apply?
- All nongovernmental commercial property owners are eligible.
- Priority will be given to improvements that eliminate blight and make the greatest visual impact on the surrounding environment, particularly those that have a prime location, historical or community/social value, as determined by the DART Board.
- The application must be made by the property owner unless permission is granted in writing to the tenant by the owner. Grant-funded improvements are meant to be permanent and lasting in nature.
- The minimum award is $2,000 and the maximum award is $25,000 per project per five-year cycle. The grant requires a $1:$1 match by the applicant and a $0.25:$1.00 match if the building has been designated on the City of Montrose Historic Register.
- Work must be started within three months of the date of approval and must be completed within twelve months of approval. Extensions may be granted at the discretion of the city manager.
- Applicants seeking to make exterior improvements on buildings that are designated on the City of Montrose Historic Register must seek approval of the Montrose Historic Preservation Commission and the DART Board prior to commencement of work.
- All applicants must seek prior approval from the DART Board before starting improvements. The board has the discretion to approve or deny applications for funding. The city manager or designee has final approval authority.
- Applicants that are under contract, but have not started improvements, may be eligible for reimbursement. Please contact DART staff.
- Grant payments will be made directly to contractors upon completion of improvements. In order for payments to be issued, documentation of proof of payment will be required including receipts, invoices, copies of cleared checks, and assurance in writing from the property owner that the work has been satisfactorily completed, if applicable. The contractor will be required to submit a W9 form to receive payment.
- This program is designed for buildings that are already constructed and does not apply to new builds.
What is grant-eligible?
- Add new awnings, lights, non-commercial murals, or other exterior amenities
- Uncover or rehabilitate the historic exterior of an existing building
- Eliminate blighted conditions like dark alleys, broken fixtures, or inaccessible entryways
- Remove non-historic features
- Add window/display areas
- Restore brickwork, wood, masonry, stucco, or siding
- Replace, repair, or add architectural details like cornices or transoms
- Repair or replace windows and doors
- Pointing of brick and mortar joint repair
- Entryway renovation
What is NOT grant-eligible?
- Non-permanent fixtures (tables, flower planters, etc.)
- Anything not seen from the public right of way unless it is a structural element necessary for façade improvement
- Any element of the proposal deemed to be inconsistent with city codes and/or zoning
- Commercial signs
What if my property is historic?
- Historic properties are eligible for a $0.25:$1 match if a property is at least fifty years old and the owner applies for the property to be designated on the City of Montrose Historic Register and is approved. This additional incentive will also require approval by the Historic Preservation Commission and DART Board prior to commencement of work.
- Any property previously designated on the City of Montrose Historic Register is also eligible for a $0.25:$1 match and must follow the same approval process.
What if my property isn't historic?
- Even if your property is not considered historic, the Façade Improvement Grant can still work for you!
- The City of Montrose Comprehensive Plan strongly emphasizes the unique and historic nature of many parts of the community. Therefore, renovation of a non-historic building should attempt to complement that theme where applicable.
- Existing building features of non-historic properties should be retained and/or enhanced to be compatible with and complementary to historic structures nearby.
- The use of high-quality, durable materials is encouraged. Long blank walls that lack visual interest should be avoided. The enhancement of outdoor spaces and improvements that add visual interest are encouraged.
- As with all projects, the improvements must conform to the City of Montrose Municipal Code requirements.
How do I apply?
- Meet with DART staff to review the conceptual design and to establish eligibility.
- Finalize the façade improvement plans by working with architects, engineers, and builders. Attempted proof of at least two cost estimates is required for the application.
- Submit the attached application, which will be reviewed by the DART Board, and Historic Preservation Commission if the building is designated. Applicants seeking historic register designation will be directed to the city’s planning department.
- If approved, begin work on the project within three months. Keep a detailed and accurate accounting of actual costs.
- Within 12 months of approval, complete the project and submit a final report with photos, invoices, and receipts.
- If all requirements of the grant have been met, contractors will be paid.