Downtown Fresno Storefront Renovation Program

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As part of the PRO Neighborhoods Grant, in partnership with JP Morgan Chase and the Central Valley Community Foundation, the Downtown Fresno Foundation is launching the Downtown Fresno Storefront Renovation Program in 2019. The Program offers financial incentives in the form of a rebate on construction and design to applicants considering an exterior rehabilitation or renovation of a commercial structure.


All commercial properties within the Downtown Fresno PBID are eligible to apply for the program. The maximum award is $2,500, with a required 1:1 property/business owner match. For example, if the applicant requests $1,000 in rebate costs, the property/business owner is required to match the request with $1,000 for a total project investment of $2,000. Qualified awarded projects will be paid directly after completed work has been inspected for consistency with the grant application. To qualify for payment, all work must be in conformance with approved plans.

If you have any questions, please contact Daniel Griffith - daniel@downtownfresno.org


Downtown Fresno Storefront Renovation Program Rules & Regulations


Purpose


The purpose of the Downtown Fresno Storefront Renovation Program is to revitalize, support, and promote the revitalization of Downtown Fresno. Working toward this goal, the program assists the targeted area (the Downtown Fresno PBID) in becoming an attractive, economically viable, and diverse place to shop, dine, work and live. The Program helps fund the rehabilitation/renovation of (primarily) traditional storefront building exteriors.


Eligibility


Eligible projects must be located in the locally designated Downtown Fresno PBID Map (Map, Pg. 8). Potentially eligible participants include commercial property owners or business owners; business owners must hold leases longer than month-to-month. Government entities and nonprofits of all types are excluded. If the property is leased, the property owner must consent to the proposed project. This consent may be provided in the form of a legally sufficient support letter or the property owner may co-sign the grant application. Eligible building types include traditional commercial buildings (originally built with storefronts and display windows) and/or commercially zoned retail structures or commercially zoned service buildings.


Eligibility Factors


Assessments: all property-based improvement district assessments to be current at time of the application
Responsibilities: participants fully responsible for all aspects of the project, any relationships with contractors and suppliers, and securing all necessary municipal approvals. In order to successfully receive the grant, applicants must conform with the following timeline.


Program Timeline


May 13th: Program announced and applications open
July 12th: Applications closed
August 7nd: Winners announced
October 25th: Winners must show evidence of progress towards improved storefront
January 10th: Invoice for costs of improvements must be provided to Downtown Fresno Foundation, or grant will be rescinded


Qualifying Projects


The Program requires exterior rehabilitations/renovations to be comprehensive in scope and positively contribute to the appearance and vitality of Downtown Fresno. Projects must result in improvements which:
• Are appropriate for the building and contribute to the success of its current business;
• Meet the property owners'/business owners' interest and level of investment commitment;
• Meet all local government rules, regulations, and laws;
• Consider unique qualities of the individual building within the context of the Downtown Fresno District
• Require only the gentlest methods available for exterior surface cleaning (e.g. no sandblasting, chemical treatment or other invasive method)
Eligible Work
Eligible improvements are limited to rehabilitation/renovation costs for work done to the building exterior most commonly seen by the general public (the front elevation of the building). However, as funds permit, the use of funding may be applied to additional public elevations (e.g. a corner building which fronts two public streets). Typically, eligible costs include:
• Storefront display windows
• Upper-floor windows
• Doors
• Exterior painting or cleaning treatments. Colors must be approved by Review Team
• Above-ground masonry repairs
• Lighting
• Removal of artificial façade
• Awnings/Canopies. Colors must be approved by Review Team
• Masonry cleaning or repair (only by the most gentle means possible; no sandblasting)
• Replacement of non-historic storefronts
• Replacement/uncovering of architectural features
• Structural stabilization – replacement of non-historic storefronts
• Removal of noncompliant and old signage
• Design and installation of new signage. Please note: Program funds toward design and installation of new signage are only eligible in the case that the individual business has been in operation in that location for more than 3 years. However, design and installation of new signage for individual businesses that have been in operation in that location for fewer than 3 years may still be included as part of the Application; the funding will need to come from the 1:1 required match from business/property owners.


Ineligible costs include:
• Interior construction
• HVAC or mechanical systems
• Parking lot paving and drainage
• Below-grade foundations
• Roofs
• Sidewalk repair and decorative fencing
• Window/door treatments
• Security systems
• Landscaping and irrigation systems
• Gutters and downspouts
• Design and installation of new signage only. The Review Team will not consider projects that only include signage in their application. There must be components in addition to signage


Application Process


The application period opens on Friday, May 13th ,2019 and closes on July 12th ,2019. Award decisions will be made no later than Monday, May 15. Fully completed and signed applications with required attachments (see Application below) are to be submitted to the attention of Downtown Fresno Foundation in-person at 845 Fulton St. or electronically by email to daniel@downtownfresno.org.