Façade Improvement Program

This application has closed and funding has been awarded.

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South Hadley Falls Façade Improvement Program

Grants up to $10,000

Application Due Date: June 17, 2022  We are no longer accepting applications.

Program Description

The South Hadley Falls Façade Improvement Program provides commercial businesses and property owners in South Hadley Falls with financial support for the enhancement of commercial building facades through reimbursable grants of up to $10,000.

The grant is structured as a reimbursement of a property or business owner’s investment in eligible storefront façade enhancements. The Town of South Hadley anticipates funding 5 to 10 projects of up to $10,000 each.

A façade improvement program is an important economic development tool that encourages property and business owners to improve their building storefronts. Exterior improvements to buildings in a commercial area can lead to revitalization of neglected or older commercial districts and help small businesses improve visibility and curb appeal and attract more customers.

Funding Availability & Eligible Activities

Applicants to the program may apply for a reimbursement of up to $10,000 in funding for improvements to:

  • Exterior painting, including murals on the street facing side of the building

  • Awnings

  • Signage

  • Exterior lighting

  • Window boxes

  • Window signage/ affixed window treatments

  • Minor repairs to the exterior façade of the building

For a visual representation of the different storefront elements refer to Façade Diagram:Facade DiagramAward amounts to property owners applying for improvements to multiple storefronts in the same building will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Eligible Applicants

Ground floor commercial tenants may apply with the written approval of the property owner. Property owners of commercial buildings with ground floor storefronts located in the South Hadley Falls are eligible to apply.

If you have a question as to your project’s eligibility, please contact the Planning and Conservation Department:

Anne Capra, Director of Planning and Conservation

acapra@southhadleyma.gov

(413) 538-5030 x6128

Application Process - We are no longer accepting applications.

Business and property owners may apply by completing the online application or submitting a paper copy to the Planning and Conservation Department. 

Application Due Date: June 17, 2022 

Funding for this program has been made available to the Town of South Hadley through a Regional Economic Development Corporation Grant from the Western Mass Economic Development Corporation. All funding must be allocated by June 30, 2022, and projects completed by December 31, 2022.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a building façade?

A building façade is the storefront or exterior area of a building. It is the “face” of a building and often what passersby first see.

What is a Façade Improvement Program?

A façade improvement program is an incentive program created to encourage property and business owners to improve their building storefronts. Exterior improvements to buildings in a commercial area can lead to revitalization of neglected or older commercial districts and help small businesses improve visibility and curb appeal.

Am I eligible for the Façade Improvement Grant Program?

Both commercial business and property owners may apply. Commercial property owners must own a building that has ground floor retail. Business owners who lease a space can apply with written permission from the property owner. The Storefronts program is geared towards small businesses in South Hadley Falls. If you have questions regarding your eligibility for the program, please contact the South Hadley Planning and Conservation Department.

What building improvements are eligible?

Improvements to exterior painting, murals on the street facing portion of the building, signage, awnings, exterior lighting, window boxes, window signage/treatments, and minor repairs of the building façade.

What building improvements are ineligible?

Ineligible improvements include any new construction, interior renovations, costs associated with security systems, solar systems, or satellite dishes, purchase of property, decorative fencing, and door replacement and repair. Any Project improvements commenced prior to the receipt of a signed Notice to Proceed from the Town will also be considered ineligible.

How much of a reimbursement can I apply for?

Applicants to the program may apply for up to $10,000. Costs incurred will be reimbursed by the grant upon proper documentation of expenses and improvements made. Grants will not be made to expenses incurred prior to a Notice of Award.

What if I am a property owner of a building with more than one ground floor storefront?

Award amounts to property owners applying for improvements to multiple storefronts in the same building will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

I am a business owner, but I lease my space. Can I apply?

Yes, business owners who lease a space can apply with written permission from the property owner. 

How long do I need to maintain improvements funded by the Storefronts program?

Grantees must maintain façade improvements funded by the Storefronts program for a minimum of three years. If a grantee fails to meet this condition, the Town of South Hadley may request immediate reimbursement of funds disbursed to the grantee.

I owe city taxes. Can I apply?

No, the project applicant or lessee must owe no outstanding property taxes, fees, judgments, or liens to the Town of South Hadley.

Where can I find an application?

Application details are available HERE 

What information am I required to submit as part of the application?

Required information includes applicant information, a description of proposed improvements, photos of the building façade and storefront(s), estimated project costs, funding request amount (up to $10,000), copy of deed, Certificate of Occupancy, and current business certificate if a business owner. An optional drawing or sketch of proposed improvements may also be submitted as part of the application. 

Who is available to help me with my application when I have questions?

Please reach out to the Planning and Conservation Department if you have any questions or require assistance completing an application. 

How are applications being evaluated?

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Complete application

  • Compliance with eligible activities, program objectives, and Town of South Hadley codes;

  • Improvement to the visual appeal of the building and appearance/attractiveness of the streetscape as a whole;

  • Amount of personal investment in project and documentation of matching funds;

  • Location within South Hadley Falls. 

  • Determination of need based on information provided by applicants.

How can I learn more about the Façade Improvement Program and ask questions in person?

Please contact the Planning and Conservation Department:

Anne Capra, Director of Planning and Conservation

(413) 538-5030 x6128

acapra@southhadleyma.gov