- Building must be located along Macdonald Avenue or 23rd Street as described above. New or renovated office buildings are not eligible for assistance. Buildings with existing multiple ground floor storefronts / businesses are eligible for more than one grant; however, such applications are to be made at the same time.
- Applicants must be both the owner(s) of a business on the ground floor of an eligible building and the property owner(s). Application must be signed by all legal property and business owners or a legal power of attorney document must be submitted with application. If there is a tenant in the building a five year lease is required. If the storefront is vacant, the property owner may be the sole Applicant.
- Applicants must verify that there are no code enforcement actions currently active against property.
- If applicants have previously received business loans from the Agency, the payment of the loans must be up to date in order to be eligible for storefront grant funds.
- A contract will be signed by the property owner, the business owner and the Agency before an applicant is eligible to receive grant funds. Applicant is not to begin any work before the contract is signed and executed by the Agency.
Grants and Repayment
- The owner and/or tenant contribution is $5,000 and the Redevelopment Agency will contribute a maximum of $20,000 per storefront. If the tenant remains in place for 5 years, the $20,000 will be forgiven in full. The grant will be forgiven in 20% increments on an annual basis such that at the end of five years there will be a zero balance. If the tenant leaves before the end of the fifth year the remaining prorated share of the grant is due and payable to the Agency within 30 days.
- This program is based on creating significant positive impact to the neighborhood. Grants, therefore, are not funded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Neighborhood impact may be based on objective and subjective criteria, such as location, design, quality of materials and conformance with long-term redevelopment strategies.
- Any expenditure that exceeds the grant amount shall be the sole responsibility of the applicant(s).
Ineligible Businesses and Improvements
- Businesses that are ineligible for the Façade Improvement Program include, but may not be limited to liquor stores, adult book stores, gun shops and recycling collection facilities.
- Structural improvements, such as seismic upgrades, cannot account for more than 20% of the funds provided by the Agency.
- Maintenance-type improvements such as roofing, paving, and structural upgrade improvements are not eligible for grants. In addition, interior improvements are not covered under this program. All improvements must be approved by the Redevelopment Agency, Public Services, and the Building Department.
Eligible Fees and Expenses
Appropriate architectural design, security upgrades, and electrical, plumbing, encroachment, and permit fees are eligible expenditures. Where appropriate, it is the goal of the Façade Improvement Program to encourage building owners and tenants to remove metal bars from façades and replace those devices with security systems as a part of their facade improvements.
- Applicants are to designate one person who will be the contact person for this project.
- A Building Permit for improvements on a building must be obtained when plans are completed. An application fee must be paid to the Building Department for the processing of the Building Permit.
- Applicants of building(s) with multiple storefronts are encouraged to work together to receive one set of bids for the entire building. This will reduce the cost per storefront. Building applicants are also encouraged to work together to obtain joint bids. This may reduce the cost even further. The applicant is to receive three written bids for all improvements.
- All work must be conducted by contractors licensed by the State of California. The applicant selects the contractor from the Agency-approved list and is responsible for completing any agreement with the contractor to carry out the work.
- Applicants are also responsible for obtaining bids from the attached approved list of contractors, selecting a contractor, and executing agreements with contractors. Agency staff will provide assistance in obtaining bids when requested by the applicant.
- Painted buildings are required to be repainted under this program as the first improvements funded with Agency grant funds. After painting, other eligible improvements can be funded with remaining funds.
- Requirements are subject to change.
For additional information, please contact the Richmond Community Redevelopment Agency at 510-307-8140.