Facade / Front

The goal of the facade grant is to stimulate investment and development of downtown properties, and to continue upgrading the appearance of downtown. Facade grants will be made to qualified projects as determined by the BID on a case by case basis. Grants are awarded to property owners and businesses within the BID boundaries only. A list of architects within the BID who may be interested in your project can be provided. Applicants may use their own designer or contractor, if preferred.
Please note: Projects will be reviewed on a case by case basis and awarded based on the annual budget.

 

PROJECT CRITERIA

After reviewing the grant packet, contact the BID and meet with the staff to ensure that all elements of the program are understood. Submit your completed grant application to the BID office. You will receive written approval from the BID once they have reviewed & approved the application. Once your grant is approved you may begin the work. Any deviations from the original proposal must be resubmitted to the BID for approval. After completion, paid bills for the total project must be presented to the BID. The BID will review the finished project to ensure that it conforms to the submitted plans before any grant funds will be released. Funds will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. If grant funds are exhausted for the fiscal year payment of your grant may be postponed until the funds are available. This grant is specific for external beautification only.
A complete BID Grant Program Application will include the following:
Download Facade Grant Application and Cost Estimate
1. The Grant Program Application
2. Project description
3. Photo of the building in its current condition
4. Photos or sketches of the proposed new project. Include plans/renderings of the project.  The plans must represent the project to scale, including all colors and be drawn to the level of detail that will allow full understanding of how the project will look when completed. Included with this should be a one page typed letter briefly describing the facade project.
5. Cost breakdown – A one page summary of the estimated project costs – all costs must be included, but only permanent, physical improvements and the contract labor associated with the permanent improvements count toward the final evaluation.
6. Eligibility Checklist

 

Project criteria and eligibility:
1. Project must be within the boundaries of the BID (a map is available upon request).
2. The building owner must be current on all property taxes in Great Falls.
3. Any tenant applying for an incentive grant must have the owner’s written permission attached to the application.
4. Only permanent improvements and associated contract labor are eligible.  Signage is not considered a permanent improvement.
5. Each 25 feet of building frontage is eligible and is to be treated as one unit.  Each project is eligible for 20% of the projected costs at time of application or 20% of actual costs, whichever is less, up to a maximum of $5,000 per 25 linear feet.
6. If the building is located on a corner lot, each 25 feet on the second side of the building is eligible for 20% of the projected costs at time of application or 20% of actual costs, whichever is less, up to a maximum of $5,000 per 25 linear feet.
7. Buildings with exposed sides and backs are also eligible for a grant. The matching formula for these projects is 20% of the projected cost at time of application or 20% of actual costs, whichever is less, up to a maximum of $1,250 per back or side.
8. For multi-story buildings over one-story each project is eligible for 20% of the projected costs at time of application or 20% of actual costs, whichever is less, up to a maximum of $60,000 for traditional masonry construction (buildings built before 1950) or $40,000 for all other construction types.
9. The applicant is responsible for all costs in excess of the grant award amount.
10. Rehabilitation of structures in the BID should be considered a solution which respects the architectural integrity of the entire building retaining those elements that enhance the building. Materials used should be durable and of lasting quality and where possible the building should be restored to its historical nature.
11. All proposals must satisfy the code of requirements of the City of Great Falls.
12. Any exterior renovation proposal will be considered, however, top priority will be given to projects which make a highly visible improvement and contribution to the commercial district.
13. Each eligible facade may only obtain one grant every five years.
14. The BID may judge a property eligible for an additional grant before five years have expired if:

  • The existing business undergoes a significant expansion or changes which require improvements in the facade
  • A new business moves into the building and requires changes in the façade.

15. Upon approval of grant, applicant has six (6) months to begin significant construction or the grant will be rescinded and applicant must re-apply.
16. All facade grant projects must be completed within 12 months of receiving notice to proceed. The BID must approve any extension beyond 12 months.
17. With submission of receipts and final documentation applicants must submit a copy of the building permit issued by the City of Great Falls (or a copy of the receipt for the permit).
18. Applicants may apply for either the one-story façade grant option or the multi-story façade grant option; applicants would not be eligible for both.

Please note: Projects will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and awards will be approved based on the annual budget. In addition, the BID reserves the right to offer, deny or suggest changes of the proposal requesting grants for any reasons not specifically listed in this documentation.