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 DART.
- 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 $12,500 per parcel or $25,000 per project where the property comprises more than one parcel. The grant requires a $1:$1 match by the applicant. Grants will be limited to a total of $25,000 per project ($12,500 per parcel) per five-year cycle.
- 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 DART Design Committee.
- All work must be completed prior to requesting reimbursement. Grant payments will be made directly to the contractor performing the work. This program is designed for buildings that are already constructed and will not apply to a new build.
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. This additional incentive will also require that the Historic Preservation Commission review the application before being eligible for Façade Improvement Grant incentives.
- Any property previously designated on the City of Montrose Historic Register is also eligible for a $0.25:$1 match, however, the application must be reviewed and approved by the Historic Preservation Commission for all proposed exterior alterations before any alterations commence.
- Applications for the Façade Improvement Grant will be reviewed by the Design Committee of DART and must be approved by the DART Board before any work is commenced. The DART Board has discretion in determining if funds will be awarded final approval made by the City Manager or designee.
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, any renovation of a non-historic building should attempt to complement that theme.
- 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 grant application, which will be reviewed by the DART Design Committee.
- 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.