The RDA and the City of Rochester want to stimulate downtown improvements and help maintain a high quality retail and business environment. To inspire and facilitate this goal, the RDA has created the Façade Improvement Grant program.
Using the Urban Village Overlay Zone Design Guidelines, matching grants of up to $20,000 are available to business and property owners to improve their properties. In addition to the up to $20,000 available for grants, applicants are eligible to receive up to $2,000 to pay for or assist in paying for design assistance. These dollars do not need to be matched.
These grants come from abated city property tax dollars. Historically, these abated tax dollars have been used for property acquisitions or skyways. Some were used for the construction of the Peace Plaza. The RDA Façade Improvement Grants program allows small business owners and their tenants to utilize the same abated tax dollars for their own façade improvements.
As of January 1, 2017, 58 projects have been completed. Over $2 million dollars have been invested by properties owners. This means for every dollar invested by the City of Rochester through this grant, $3.50 has been invested by properties owners. These improvements include: murals, lighting, awnings, painting, tuck-pointing, windows, doors, signage, etc.
The RDA encourages other businesses and property owners to take advantage of this program to continue to make downtown Rochester beautiful and vibrant.
Please take a look at the Façade Improvement Program packet and the Urban Village Overlay Zone Design Guidelines below:
Urban Design Guidelines (PDF)
If you should have any questions, please contact Executive Director, Jenna Bowman at 507-216-9885 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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The RDA is funded by a portion of property taxes paid by commercial property owners located in the downtown service district. The special service district is comprised of 44 blocks. Click here for Rochester Downtown Alliance Special Service District map.
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