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Facade Improvement Incentive Program

 

 
 

 

 

The Rockdale Municipal Development District has implemented a city-wide Facade Improvement Incentive Program for businesses and/or property owners. The Municipal Development District has implemented the Façade Improvement Incentive Program to provide an incentive to existing business and/or property owners to encourage renovation and rehabilitation of the exterior of buildings in the City of Rockdale and its Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). Funding for the program is provided by the Rockdale Municipal Development District (MDD). This program aims to improve the aesthetics within the City of Rockdale and its ETJ as attractive building façades positively impact the marketability and perception of the city. Incentives will be awarded for facade improvements that restore, rehabilitate, enhance or beautify a structure.

Program Description
The purpose of the program is to provide an incentive to existing business and/or property owners to make improvements to the exterior of buildings in the City of Rockdale and its ETJ. The program will provide matching funds for exterior renovation and/or rehabilitation of properties within the eligible area on a reimbursement basis only. Funding for the program is provided by the MDD for a total initial program funding of $30,000 to be used directly for incentives. Funds contributed to the Program by the MDD shall not be used to fund projects in areas that are outside MDD boundaries.
Program Goals
1)      Revitalize and improve the appearance of Rockdale buildings to positively impact the aesthetics, marketability, and perception of the City of Rockdale and its ETJ
2)      Serve as a catalyst for continued private sector investment through visible improvements
3)      Offer the private sector an incentive program to invest in Rockdale buildings
 Eligible Applicants
Property owners and tenant/business owners of properties located within the City of Rockdale and its ETJ area are eligible to participate in the program. Business owners/tenants must have been at the location for at six months or submit a written Business Plan and have the property owner’s express consent for the proposed improvements. To participate in the Program, Applicants must complete and submit the Program application form provided by the MDD along with the required attachments. Retroactive applications for improvement work that has already been completed will not be accepted. Property taxes must be current, and participants must represent that to the best of their knowledge they have no debts in arrears to the City when a commitment letter is issued. Further, the Applicant must certify that there are no current code enforcement actions pending against the property that would not be mitigated by the project.
Eligible Costs
The Facade Improvement Program is a matching funds program, which means that matching funds must be matched dollar for dollar (1:1 ratio) by the Applicant for qualified expenditures. The maximum incentive amount under the Program is $10,000.00 for approved improvements per project. Incentive funds are disbursed on a reimbursement basis only. Labor, design, and material costs are eligible costs. Further, permit fees associated with the proposed renovation/rehabilitation and fees for architectural design and engineering for the project are eligible program costs. In-kind, donated, “sweat equity” or similar no cost to the Applicant improvements, services, or materials will not be matched and are ineligible costs under the Program. Costs incurred for alternations or improvements completed prior to receipt of formal written approval by the Program’s Review Committee and issuance of the “Notice to Proceed with Improvements” are not eligible for reimbursement.
Eligible Improvements
Subject to application approval and funding availability, incentives will be awarded for façade improvements that restore, rehabilitate, enhance or beautify a structure.
Eligible improvements include: 
  • Signs (new, repairs, replacement, removal)
  • Grate and grate box removal or conversion of solid grates to an open mesh style
  • Awnings
  •  Lighting
  • Paint
  • Removal/replacement of inappropriate or incompatible exterior finishes or materials
  • Recessing/reconfiguring entrances
  • Removal of extraneous elements
  • Door/window replacement or repair
  • Exterior cleaning
  • Historical architectural elements
Design Requirements
Applicants are encouraged to promote historic preservation, energy efficiency, and accessibility standards in designing improvements, to the extent that they are financially feasible or required by law. All improvements must conform to applicable city building codes, zoning ordinances, local and state laws.
Funding Availability
Funding is limited and incentive awards will be subject to funding availability; Project Applicants will be prioritized on a first-come, first-serve basis. A commitment letter allocating the project funds for a particular approved project will be issued and a commitment period established so that if funds are not used within that period, program funds can be reallocated for other eligible projects.
Application Process
An application with the following information, at a minimum, is to be submitted for consideration:
  • Property address
  • Applicant and Property owner name(s), address(es) and signature(s)
  • Proof of ownership or if tenant, copy of lease or other property agreement and written consent of Property owner to complete the proposed improvement
  • Verification that property taxes on the property are paid and current
  • Project Scope description, to include a detailed plan and sketch
  • Hard copy and digital photograph of existing building façade
  • Project budget (detailed estimated costs by materials, labor, services and fees)
Incomplete applications will not be processed and will be returned to the Applicant without consideration. The Board of Directors will review and approve applications and select Incentive recipients on a first-come, first served basis. 
The Board of Directors will evaluate applications based on the following Review Criteria and Funding Priorities:
  • Awards shall be based on a point system. Click Evaluation Form to view this document.

o   Appropriateness of Project
o   Creativity
o   Timeliness
o   Community Impact
o   Permanent, Tangible Improvements
o   Economic Impact
o   Preservation
o   Rehabilitation
o   Location and Visibility
  •  Preference is given to commercial buildings with operating businesses.
  • Substantial visible improvement to the appearance of the building, as determined by the Board of Directors. Projects that have significant architectural and/or historical elements must preserve or restore these elements to be eligible for funding through this program.

A copy of the program including program description, program goals, eligible applicants, eligible costs and improvements, design requirements, funding availability, and application form can be downloaded here.