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Façade Program

Mission

To leverage private investment in the physical and aesthetic improvement of commercial properties with first floor/street-level storefronts and enhance the attractiveness of targeted areas within the City of Worcester.

Funding

Funding for this program will be provided through the City of Worcester's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, which are allocated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Applicants must meet and adhere to Federal requirements and compliance issues.

  • The maximum grant amount allowed per project is $10,000.
  • The maximum grant amount allowed per project is not to exceed 75% of the total project cost.
  • For projects in the Downtown, a $25,000 maximum will be allowed, but only up to 50% of the total project cost.
  • Properties in the CARD, outside of the Downtown, that contain more than two storefronts, are eligible for an additional $2,500 per storefront. The storefronts must have separate street numbers.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants shall be property owners of commercial buildings with first floor/street-level storefronts located within the targeted commercial corridors. First floor/street-level retail tenants may apply with the approval of the property owner as a co-applicant. In order for an application to be considered, all real estate taxes on the subject properties must be current.

Ineligible Applicants

Ineligible applicants include, but are not necessarily limited to, property owners of commercial buildings that house or will house check cashing agencies and some non-bank financial retail outlets, gun shops, pawn shops, liquor stores, sexually-oriented businesses, nail shops and dollar stores.

The City reserves the right to reject any application that is incomplete or does not meet the Program Requirements in the sole opinion of the Division of Business & Community Development. In addition, the City may decide on a case-by-case basis to reject any application that does not benefit the health, safety and welfare of the targeted commercial corridor.

Eligible Activities

  • Complete Façade Renovations*
  • Lighting
  • Signage
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Awnings
  • Painting
  • Entryways

*For this program, facade is defined as the side of a building which faces and/or is visible from a public way and is generally used for public access.

Façade Design Guidelines

The Design Standards will promote high quality architecture by reinforcing basic urban design principles that make a city desirable and attractive for residents, employees and visitors. The Design Standards are not intended to limit development, but rather to ensure that the program is arranged on the site to respond to its context and to minimize adverse impacts to the pedestrian environment.

Before/After Examples

Facade Improvement Before/After Example 1
Facade Improvement Before/After Example 2

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