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Midland Center City Facade Improvement Program


Center City Authority
COMMERCIAL CORRIDOR FAÇADE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
Guidelines

PURPOSE

The City of Midland’s Center City Authority Commercial Corridor Façade Improvement Program (FIP) provides financial assistance to commercial property owners and business owners in the Center City Authority for qualified façade improvements. The purpose of the FIP is to support the beautification and economic revitalization of the Center City Authority commercial corridor by stimulating private investment in high-quality improvements that enhance the appearance of buildings and properties and eliminate blight and non-conforming design standards.

$150,000 is the total startup funding for this program provided to the Center City Authority by the Entrance Ways Initiative Fund of the Midland Area Community Foundation in the fall of 2014.

PROGRAM GUIDELINES

Program Description: The Façade Program offers the opportunity forbusiness owners and tenants, together with property owners, to bring theircommercial properties and buildings up to a standard set forth and approvedby the CCA.

Financial Award Eligibility:
With CCA approval, a property may receive up to $15,000 in façade improvement support in a seven-year period.

Each Center City property may apply to receive up to $15,000 in façade support during a seven-year period utilizing a combination of the following:

  • Receipt of no more than $5,000 in façade matching grant funding in a seven-year period 
    The $5,000 in grant funding can be in the form of:

    • A one-time mini-matching grant of up to $1,000 for eligible façade maintenance and/or

    • Up to $5,000 in matching grant for eligible façade improvements 

  • No More than $10,000 in façade matching loan funding in a seven-year period

    • Zero interest loan amortized over five years

    • Repayment of loan made in annual installments over five-year period

Grant and loan amounts must be matched by the applicant on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Applicants may secure additional financing in any manner theychoose, including but not limited to a commercial mortgage,signature loan, home equity loan, personal or business line ofcredit, family loan, personal resources or business cash.

Applicant Eligibility: 

Eligible applicants include owners ofcommercial propertiesand owners/managers of businesses located in the Center City Authority District(seeattached mapoftheCCADistrict).Business owners/managers who are leasing a building for which improvements are proposed must obtain the signature of the property owner signifying property owner approval for participation in the FIP.Only businesses whose existing use is allowable by the City’s current codes and regulations are eligible for funding through the FIP. The FIP reserves the right to deny funding to applicants who are delinquent on payment of fines or fees.

Project Eligibility:

Each property in the CCA District is eligible for the matching grants every seven (7) years.
Each property in the CCA District is eligible for the matching loan every five (5) years given the following:

  • the applicant is not in default on any previous CCA façade loans;

  • all previous CCA façade loans have been paid in full.


Potential improvements eligible under the FIP can include, but are not limited to:


Façade Improvements

Exterior façade improvements (other than ordinary repair and maintenance) including exterior painting or surface treatment, window and/or door replacement, covered entrances, storefront enhancements, columns, awnings and other highly visible façade features on existing buildings or building additions


Highly visible planting locations in parking lots, around driveways, perimeter plantings, at the base of signs, at building entrances and to screen storage.  Only improvements that bring sites into compliance with or will exceed City Zoning Ordinance standards will be eligible.

Landscaping


Lighting for ground and wall mounted signs, landscaping, buildings and pathways

Lighting


Parking lot improvements may receive up to $15,000 in combined matching grant and loan funding when the improvement includes a highly-visible landscaping improvement as part of the parking lot improvement representing a cost equal to or greater than 20% of the project’s total estimated cost as included in the submitted application.  The intent of a fully-funded parking lot improvement is to beautify parking lots in the district and move from having large areas of asphalt to more aesthetically-pleasing parking areas utilizing landscaping, trees and greenery to break up large spans of asphalt.  To receive up to $5,000 in grant and/or $10,000 in loans we recommend you meet with the planning department to determine improvements that will be significant and impactful, but still meet zoning requirements.  Landscaping improvements should be in line with the intent of the City’s Zoning requirements for street side and parking lot landscaping.  Reference Article 6.00 of the City of Midland Zoning Ordinance.
Sample calculation to determine the 20% landscaping requirement:

A.  Total cost of parking lot improvement        ________
B.  Total cost of landscaping improvement + ________
C.                               Total cost of project  = ________                  
                                                     B must be >20% of C

  • Parking lot improvements without a landscaping improvement are only eligible for up to $1,000.00 in matching maintenance grant funds. 

  • Improvements that incorporate city right-of-way are not eligible. 

Parking Lot Improvements


Consolidation of multiple driveways, driveway elimination, driveway reconfiguration to comply with current City standards

Street Access


Replacement of freestanding signs with ground mounted signs, stone and brick sign bases

Signage


Architectural fences, banisters, rails, benches, brick walls and retaining walls

Site Accessories


Ordinary repair and maintenance is defined as “any work, the purpose and effect of which is to correct or prevent any deterioration or decay of, or damage to, a structure, site or any part thereof and to restore the structure or site, as nearly as may be practicable, to its condition prior to such deterioration, decay or damage using materials which are of a design, color and outer appearance as close as practicable to the original

Ordinary Repair and Maintenance

(Eligible for $1,000 mini-grant)


Improvements not eligible under the FIP include, but are not limited to:


Improvements that are required as a result of any violation notice or citation

Improvements that incorporate city right-of-way

Violation Notice or Citation


Non-permanent structures and movable equipment

Site Accessories


Improvements that would otherwise be required to comply with any code or ordinance

Code Compliance


This program does not apply to a new construction in the district only to the improvement of existing structures

New Construction


While application to the Façade Improvement Program is preferred prior to the start of a project, accommodations have been made for property owners to still receive FIP funding if applying after a project has begun.  The levels of grant funding are as follows:

 

Applied-for Project Status   

If application is submitted prior to work beginning on a project

If application is submitted after work has physically begun or has been substantially completed

If application is submitted 6 months or more after work has been completed 

 

Eligible Grant Funding

100 % grant funding

50% grant funding

0% grant funding

Projects are eligible for 100% of loan funding if applied for within six months of the completion of a project.


Application Process


To apply for the Center City Authority Façade Improvement Program (FIP), property owners and businesses in the Center City district may begin by contacting the Center City Authority (CCA) office to discuss the program, project considerations and to obtain a copy of the CCA FIP guidelines and application.

  • Applicant completes the application and submits accompanying plans and estimates;

  • Applicant insures that proposed improvements meet City of Midland building and zoning regulations;

  • Drawings, photos and color renderings done by the applicant may be submitted with the application, however, upon conditional approval, applicant may be required to provide drawings of professional quality as may be required by the City of Midland Building or Planning Department;

  • Applicant shall provide detail on materials and colors to be used in the proposed improvement; and

  • Applicant shall submit written professional estimate(s) on the cost of the project by a licensed contractor.

It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure the project is designed, engineered and constructed according to the law, building code, zoning regulations and applicable City ordinances.

The CCA reserves the right to reject applications that do not meet City regulations or the intent of this program.

This program does not exempt applicants from obtaining all necessary permits and inspections from the City of Midland nor does it exempt applicants from the payment of those fees.


Application Evaluation Process


  1. Upon receipt of application, the CCA office will review the application for the following information:

    1. Applicant Eligibility (applicant owns property, is business owner or authorized to apply on behalf of property or business owner)

    2. Property Eligibility (property resides within the Center City Authority district)

    3. Eligible and consistent design rendering(s) of the proposed improvement

    4. Detailed information on materials, quantities and colors to be used in the proposed improvements

    5. Written professional estimates on the cost of the project from a licensed contractor

    6. Approval of building and zoning codes where applicable

      The CCA Office may return the application for missing or incomplete information.

  2. Based on the timing of the submitted application and its completeness, the CCA office will schedule a review of the application at the next regularly scheduled CCA Physical Improvements Committee meeting. (see attached schedule). 

  3. The CCA Physical Improvements Committee reviews the application at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

  4. Upon approval by the CCA Physical Improvements Committee a conditional approval letter is forwarded to the applicant along with a Grant Agreement and Maintenance Agreement. 

  5. After review and preliminary approval by the CCA Physical Improvements Committee, recommendation will be made to the CCA Board at their next regularly scheduled meeting with respect to funding. 

  6. If the CCA Board approves the request for funding the applicant will be notified in writing of the approval.  

    If the CCA Board denies the request for funding, the applicant shall be notified in writing of the denial and the reasons for denial.  The applicant may reapply for future grant funds. 


Distribution of Funds


The release of funds shall be subject to the prior inspection and approval of the work performed at that time by the City Building and Planning Departments and CCA.  Said construction must conform to all applicable building codes, zoning ordinances, state statutes and prior approved plans.  Also evidence of payment for work performed for the grant/loan improvement construction will be required to release funds.

Funds will be distributed on the following schedule:

  • Grant funding will be made available when the approved project construction has been completed and paid invoices for the approved work are presented. 

  • A maximum of 50% of the approved loan funds for a project prior to the commencement of the construction on the approved project.

  • The balance of the loan funds shall be distributed when the approved project construction has been completed and paid invoices for the approved work are presented. 


Funding approval will lapse if a notice of completion is not issued within six (6) months of the date of construction completion provided by the applicant.  The CCA may grant an extension following review and approval of a written request by the applicant detailing the reasons for the extension and providing a new date of completion.  Extensions shall be at the discretion of the CCA Physical Improvements Committee.