Main Street Façade Improvement Grant Program
About the Program
The intent of the Main Street Façade Improvement Program is to provide funding to improve the appearance of the Main Street area. The Program is designed to assist property owners with rehabilitating the facades of storefronts and residential homes to create a positive visual impact, stimulate private investment, and complement other community revitalization efforts.
Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a first-come, first served basis. Submission of an incomplete or inaccurate application may result in ineligibility. Please read all grant terms, application instructions, the Grant Application and Approval Process (PDF) and the Program's Funding Agreement (PDF) before starting and submitting your application. One application per legal and taxable property address is accepted. View the Facade Grant Area Map (PDF).
The Program provides participants the opportunity to receive a reimbursement of at least $5,000 but not to exceed $25,000 for approved exterior renovations. The total grant fund is $50,000. Funds are limited and will be awarded to qualifying projects on a first-come first-serve basis.
Funds for this grant are provided by the City of Laurel and the State of Maryland.
The Department of Economic and Community Development will review the applications and select Projects that will provide a public benefit to Main Street area residents and businesses. The Department of Economic and Community Development will consider the following factors in determining the Project's eligibility:
- Need for improvements/substandard condition of the building/façade
- Potential revitalization effects in the community
The determination as to whether the proposed use of funds by any applicant are eligible for funds from this grant shall be determined by the City of Laurel in its sole judgment, based upon applicable criteria, and is not appealable. The Maryland Historical Trust must also approve all application proposals for improvements before any application is approved for funding. The following constitute examples of generally eligible and ineligible funds, though the City retains the right to determine otherwise based upon the facts of any application.
Use of Funds
Improvements that contribute to the visual enhancement of the property as viewed from the public right-of-way are eligible. Improvements must be comprehensive, incorporating enhancements/additions to several components of the existing façade.
Eligible improvements include:
- Exterior painting
- Lighting that is attached to the exterior of the building
- Window and doors
- Exterior stucco, tile, or masonry work
- Signage, canopies, and awning that are attached to the exterior of the building
- Restoration of historic components of the structure
- Replacement or repair of walkways or paths leading to the front of the property (not including public sidewalks)
- Garage door replacement (door that can be seen from the right-of-way only, replacement of mechanical components are not included)
- Repairs to front porch or deck, including handrails, banisters, and/or support columns
- Replacement or repair of exterior siding
- Replacement or repair of exterior shutters
- Replacement or repair of fencing
- Replacement or repair of retaining walls
- City of Laurel permit fees
All improvements listed above must be able to show the need of improvement to be eligible. Each eligible improvement must be 50% of more visible from the right-of-way. In order to receive reimbursement for any eligible expense, the applicant must complete all necessary permits and inspections through the City of Laurel's Office of the Fire Marshall and Permit Services and Maryland Historical Trust must approve all project proposals and all improvements must be completed by a licensed and insured professional.
Examples of Ineligible Expenses
- Interior renovations
- Landscaping (e.g. plants, trees, mulch)
- Roof replacement or repair
- Non-permanent fixtures (e.g. exterior furniture, A-frame signs)
- Security systems
- Garage door opener or mechanical components
- Public property, including sidewalks
- Interior window coverings
- Foundation work
- Parking lot, parking pad, or driveway improvements
- Improvements that are not visible from the right-of-way
- Improvements not approved through the grant process
- Improvement that took place before approval by the City of Laurel and the Maryland Historical Trust
- Improvements that were not completed by a licensed and/or insured professional
- Any improvements deemed inconsistent with redevelopment purposes and objectives
Only the legal property owner may apply for this program
The property must be within the approved program area. View the Facade Grant Map (PDF).
The property must be in need of improvements or in substandard condition
Only one Facade Improvement grant can be awarded per legal and taxable property address
- Properties located outside of the program area
- Properties in which City Staff and/or elected officials of the City have a financial interest of at least 25%
All improvements must conform to all Building Codes and Zoning Regulations of the City of Laurel and to the criteria developed for this Program.
All appropriate City permits including, without limitation, building permits and other approvals must be obtained by the Participant prior to the commencement of construction. Participant shall not commence work on the Project until receipt of appropriate permits and approvals. Failure to obtain the necessary permits and approvals through the City of Laurel and/or Maryland Historic Trust may disqualify an applicant from receiving reimbursement for their expenses. In addition, any work that is completed before approval through the grant program process and or completed by anyone other than a licensed and insured professional will automatically be disqualified for grant reimbursement.
- Please read all eligibility requirements and the Funding Agreement (PDF) thoroughly before beginning your application.
- The application may not be updated after submission. Please make sure your application is correct and complete before submitting it.
- Only one application submission per legal and taxable address will be considered.
- Submission of an incomplete and/or inaccurate, the application may disqualify a property from being awarded funding. Please check your application for completeness and accuracy before submitting.
- Review the Application Deadlines written below. No applications will be accepted after the deadline.
- Applications must be submitted through this online application portal
- If assistance is needed with the application, please contact the Economic and Community Development Department.
Applications will be accepted beginning Monday, March 21, 2022 at 9 am.
The deadline to apply will be Saturday, December 31, 2022, at 11:59 pm
Applications will only be accepted electronically through the online application portal. One application per legal property address will be accepted.
Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Submission of an incomplete or inaccurate application may result in ineligibility. If you have any questions regarding this grant opportunity, please contact the Economic and Community Development Department.