Facade Improvement Programs (FIG)
A. Description and Purpose
Administered by the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), the CDBG Façade Improvement Grant program (CDBG FIG) oﬀers up to $20,000 in matching grants. The Capital FIG Program offers up to $3,000 in matching grants. The grant money is used in designated commercial revitalization districts (see applications for eligible areas) in order to improve the appearance of individual building facades, signs and awnings, as well as the overall look of the retail district. Improvements must be to areas visible from the public way. The goal of this program is to leverage private improvements while making revitalization eﬀorts aﬀordable and creative.
B. How does the FIG Program Work?
Applicants submit an application and a $25 dollar application fee made out to Baltimore Development
- BDC’s FIG Design Committee will review and approve proposed facade
improvements in accordance with the guidelines. Applications are
approved on a first-come first-serve basis.
- Draft and execute Grant Agreement.
- The City does not reimburse for work done before application approval
and contract signing.
- Applicants are responsible for obtaining all necessary building permits.
- BDC will inspect the project to ensure conformance with the Grant Agreement.
- The City will authorize reimbursement payment after completion in accordance
with the approved plan.
- The City will not contract to perform any of the work, but will reimburse the
applicant for approved expenses.
C. Eligible Applicants and Areas
Building owners and merchants (with owner approval) that are located in eligible designated
commercial revitalization districts. Eligible districts include designated commercial revitalization
areas, Retail Business District License areas (RBDL) and Main Street Districts which are specifically listed on each application.
Is your business located in a RBDL area?
Go to Baltimore City Citiview and type in the property address to discover if it’s in the Retail Business District License Area.
*Funding fro CDBG should be available 4/1/2012. For more information contact BDC at (410) 837-9305.
D. Eligible Uses of Funds
- Architectural and related professional fees.
- Labor, materials, fixtures, and other contract items necessary for the proper execution
and completion of facade rehabilitation.
- Repair or alteration of exterior facades to recover and/or preserve significant historical
and architectural features of the structure.
- Exterior painting.
- Door and window replacements.
- Installation of siding and trim treatments including awnings (cloth or fabric preferred)
and flower boxes.
- Appropriately scaled window areas for display or for looking into a retail business,
restaurant or service business, with lighting to facilitate night viewing.
- Signs which are attractively integrated into the architecture of the building including
the window area, doorway and awning or canopy.
- Removal of barriers to access for people with disabilities.
- Removal of heavy, unattractive, roll-down security grates.
- New facade construction or additions in keeping with the architectural context of the
district will be reviewed and approved if it supports the goals of the community.
- For use by Commercial Retail tenants only.
- Improvements conform to urban renewal plan design standards and/or local and national historic
district guidelines, if applicable.
- Design and proposed use conforms to, or is in harmony with, the character and development
pattern of adjacent and rear by business.
- The distinguishing original qualities and character of the building shall be preserved; removal of
historical or distinctive architectural features may disqualify a project.
- Deteriorated architectural features should be repaired rather than replaced, if replacement is
necessary the new material should match the material being replaced in design, color, texture, and other visual qualities.
- Contemporary design for alterations to existing properties is acceptable if such alterations
does not destroy significant historical, architectural and cultural materials, and if such design
is compatible with the size, scale, color, material, and character of the property and adjacent
E. Ineligible Activities
- New construction
- Property acquisition
- Interior remodeling