Downtown Fresno Storefront Renovation Program

Click Here to Download Application Package


As part of the PRO Neighborhoods Grant, in partnership with JP Morgan Chase and the Central Valley Community Foundation, the Downtown Fresno Foundation is announcing the 2021 Downtown Fresno Storefront Renovation Program. 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. To apply, please download and complete the document in the link above. Completed applications must be sent via email to daniel@downtownfresno.org by 11:59 on April 23rd, 2021.


Rules & Regulations

 

Program


The purpose of the Downtown Fresno Storefront Renovation Program is to revitalize, support, and promote the City of Fresno’s urban core in response to increased vandalism and damage to buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.


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 projects 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

Applicant Eligibility


Eligible projects must be located in the locally designated Downtown Fresno PBID Map (see pg. 6). 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.


Application Process


The application period opens on Monday April 5th, 2021 and closes at 11:59pm on Friday April 23rd, 2021. Fully completed and signed applications with required attachments (see application above) are to be submitted electronically by email to daniel@downtownfresno.org.


Standards for Review


• Extent to which the project advances the goals of improving building appearance
• Extent to which the project is compatible with characteristics of the downtown area
• Extent of the project’s impact upon the downtown Fresno streetscape and pedestrian atmosphere
• Historic/architectural significance of the building

Original condition of the building and the need for the changes of the proposed project


• Extent to which the original building is preserved
• Removal of historically inappropriate alterations
• Prominence of the building (including but not limited to the number of public elevations)
• Quality of the work proposed
• Level of private investment over and above the grant funding by the applicant
• Range of projects completed and proposed as part of the Downtown Fresno Storefront Renovation Program
• All other factors deemed by the Review Team to be applicable


Each applicant shall generally receive a letter/email indicating the award decision. In the instance of a decision to deny an application, the letter/email may indicate the Review Team’s reasoning for doing so. The Review Team reserves the right to reject or request modifications in any or all application packages, in whole or in part, or to negotiate changes in the proposed project.


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 work has begun on the project.


PLEASE NOTE: No work may be started by or on behalf of the applicant prior to the decision to make a grant award; such beginning disqualifies an applicant for award consideration.


The Review Team reserves the right to distribute or not distribute funds as it deems best to achieve its purposes. For example, the Review Team has the right to distribute funds in amounts as it deems appropriate to encourage the projects it deems most beneficial. Many factors are considered, such as, the budget, number of applicants, financial considerations, applicant investment over and above the grant, a mixture of proposed projects, and the extent to which projects fulfill the goals and standards for qualified projects, set forth above.


Application Check-List


• Fully complete and signed application (pg. 4-5)
• Property owner consent letter or signature (if leased)
• Photographs of the exterior of building to be renovated
• Budget estimates and quotes
For questions or more information, please contact Daniel Griffith, daniel@downtownfresno.org.