Façade Program

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.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants shall be property owners of commercial buildings with first floor/street-level storefronts. 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, cannabis businesses 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

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

*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.


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 funding amount per project for properties located in the Commercial Area Revitalization District (CARD) is $20,000.
  • The funding amount for properties outside of the CARD is $15,000 per project.
  • The maximum grant amount allowed per project is not to exceed 75% of the total project cost.
  • Properties 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.
  • For projects in the Downtown, the funding amount can increase up to $30,000 per project.

Additional Information

For more information and to apply, contact:

Vaske Gjino
Business & Community Development Coordinator
508-799-1400 x31418

Contact Information

Economic Development
City Hall 4th Floor
455 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-799-1400
Fax: 508-799-1406
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Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

City of Worcester
Worcester 311
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 311
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