Façade Improvement Grant (FIG) Program Terms and Application
- Wilmington Downtown, iNC (WDI) has designed a Façade Improvement Grant (FIG) Program to stimulate new investment Downtown. The program is also intended to provide an economic incentive for renovating building façades, and to encourage quality design and construction that enhances the historic character and the appearance of the Downtown area.
- The following terms apply to the Façade Improvement Grant (FIG) Program:
- WDI may make grants available at its complete discretion to property owners or tenants who submit completed applications for committee review. WDI’s Grants Review Committee determines if the application meets the goals of the program. The committee meets once a month. FIG applications shall be considered based on the program’s goal, along with additional factors such as visibility of the property and size of the investment.
- FIG Program funding will be made available to renovate or restore the front wall of any structure facing a street or alleyway from the top roof line to the ground level of the structure, including each floor. A building containing multiple, ground floor storefronts or tenants with access from the street will be considered as having one façade. Any commercial, institutional, mixed-used, or residential property in zoned Commercial Business District (CBD) may be eligible for FIG funds.
- The FIG Program fund will be capitalized on a fiscal year basis. Funds are subject to availability. Funding for the program is part of the Municipal Service District (MSD). A total of $15,000 in FIG Program funds are made available for businesses to utilize for façade improvements for Fiscal Year 2022 (July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022).
- FIG Program funds will be made available on a matching basis. Awards for any building are for 50% of the total cost of the façade renovation project, up to a maximum grant of $2,500. The award of any grant is based on WDI’s discretion and the current availability of funds. Storefronts situated on corner properties or through properties (with façades facing two streets, or both a street and an alleyway) are eligible for 50% of the total cost of renovation of both façades, up to a maximum grant of $5,000.
- FIG Program funds may be made available to finance the design and construction of a building façade that will result in a significant improvement of the architectural and/or historical integrity of the building. Eligible projects must stress quality design and workmanship to enhance the appearance of the entire building and contribute to the fabric of the center city. The design must meet the architectural standards and, if applicable, obtain approval from the City of Wilmington’s Historic Preservation Commission. Examples of significant projects that can be considered for funding include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Removing stucco or similar non-historic siding.
- Repairing or replacing cornices.
- Repairing or replacing windows.
- Repointing brick and masonry work and/or adding structural support to failing structures.
- When combined with other renovation work, repainting multiple building surfaces such as brick and masonry walls, exterior window frames, and other façade features.
- Adding historically compatible materials or features to the front of a building.
- Repairing or restoring transom windows.
- Repairing or restoring original storefront features.
- Installing appropriate awnings and signs.
If leased, please provide a letter of authorization from the building owner by including in the file upload at the end of this application.