How to Apply for the FIP
This outline will guide applicants in completing all of the major steps necessary to receive a grant from the Redevelopment Agency for improvements under the Facade Improvement Program.
- Your building must be within the highlighted area on the attached map, along Macdonald Avenue and 23rd Street of the Façade Improvement Program’s eligible area in order to participate in the program.
- An application form must be completed and signed by all of the owners of the building. Applicants are to identify one person who will be the Agency’s primary contact person.
- On the application, applicants confirm that there are no outstanding code enforcement actions pending against the building or the business.
- The applicant must show proof of applicant’s funds to be used in the façade improvement in the form of a bank statement as well as collateral for the grant.
- If any architectural drawings already exist for the building, submit a copy with the application. All design improvements must be approved by the Agency and the City Building Department.
- Submit the application to the Agency. Agency staff will review the application and call the designated contact person on the application to set up an initial meeting. At the initial meeting, attended by Agency staff and the architectural consultant, the applicant’s preliminary thoughts on desired improvements will be discussed.
- If the program requirements have been met, a draft agreement will be given to applicant for review. The agreement, when signed by all of the applicants and the Agency, will establish an applicant’s eligibility to receive a grant for the improvements. Applicants are to sign the agreement before a notary, and return the agreement to the Agency. Agency staff will not file the agreement until improvement plans are completed and applicant receives bids for construction.
- Agency staff will arrange a second meeting with the applicant and the Agency-approved architect to review schematic drawings of the suggested improvements based on the discussion at the initial meeting.
- The architect will then make final modifications to the drawings. A third meeting will be arranged with the architect to review the revisions made at the second meeting and to discuss the cost of improvements. The project will be scaled back, if necessary, to meet the budget for the project. At this meeting, the applicant makes a final commitment for use of matching funds, if any are part of budget, and make appropriate changes if needed. The Agency will then notify the applicant of approved improvements.
- The Agency-approved architect will complete construction drawings for improvements. These drawings are sent to the applicant to be used in obtaining construction bids.
- A building permit from the Building Department is required for the improvements. Applicants must submit a completed permit application to Building Department with a copy to the Agency. Permit fees will be paid by the applicant to the Building Department for processing and issuing the permit.
- After review, the Building Department will issue a Building Permit and send it to applicant. Conditions of approval shall be agreed to by the applicant prior to proceeding with project.
- The Agency-approved architect will provide the applicant the three copies of approved architectural drawings.
- The applicant must then obtain three written bids from licensed contractors for each approved storefront improvement.
- The Agency-approved architect may assist applicant in coordinating bid process, if requested.
- The Agency-approved architect will analyze bids as compared to construction documents and provide applicant with their findings. If bids are over budget, the architect will suggest areas to reduce costs.
- Applicants have two weeks to choose a contractor. Applicants will choose an appropriate contractor after the applicant negotiates changes with the contractor, if necessary. Once the applicant has selected a contractor(s), applicant notifies Agency staff of intent to proceed with project by submitting a contractor selection form to Agency staff. The form identifies the contractor(s) that have been selected by the applicant and confirms that contractors are licensed by the State of California. The specific improvements to be completed by contractor are also identified. The applicant identifies construction costs negotiated with selected contractor.
- Upon acceptance, the Agency will sign and execute a contract agreement. At this point, the Agency and the applicant have a legal document committing both to the project.
- The selected contractor must agree to pay prevailing wages.
- The applicant hires the contractor and will coordinate construction activities with the contractor. Agency staff do not coordinate contractors' work. Applicant has 30 days from the contract execution date with the building contractor to authorize the contractor to begin construction.
- If applicant has not authorized the contractor to begin construction within thirty days, the Agency has the right to terminate the façade improvement contract and utilize the reserved grant funds for other projects.
- The applicant’s contractors must obtain all appropriate electrical, plumbing, encroachment and other permits required by the City for construction.
- Contractor change orders are not to be made without the approval of Agency staff and the Agency’s approved architect. The applicant is responsible for any approved change orders which may affect the approved bid price.
- The construction contractor must submit a work in progress report and certified payroll with each draw request (invoice) to the Agency.
- The applicant monitors the contractor’s work. Once work is completed, the applicant obtains a completion notice and invoice from each contractor. If the applicant’s contact person approves the completed work, the contact person signs the invoices and sends invoices to Agency staff. By this action, the applicant accepts contractor’s completed work.
- Agency staff will review completed improvements and, if found complete and acceptable, will issue a check(s) to the contractor for the eligible invoices, less 10% retention.
- Agency will issue check(s) for payment of invoices or for reimbursement to applicants for eligible expenses already paid by the applicant according to the terms of the Agreement between the Agency and the applicant.
- Upon final inspection work by the Building Department, the Agency will issue payment for remaining retention funds.
- Once all appropriate checks are issued, the project is complete. The applicants commit to maintain improvements and keep storefronts clean and free of debris and graffiti.
Note: The foregoing steps are for information only and are subject to change.