Facade Improvement Grant Program

Overview
The Canal Winchester Industry and Commerce Corporation (CWICC) has created an Old Town Facade Improvement Program that is intended to directly stimulate design improvements to buildings in a coordinated fashion, stressing overall compatibility with the historical significance and uniqueness of Canal Winchester’s Old Town structures. The appearance of individual buildings, storefronts, signs, alleys window displays, parking lots and sidewalks establishes the visual character of the downtown and plays a major role in the success of the business district. 

The purpose of the façade improvement program is to encourage historically accurate improvements to the commercial facades visible from the public right of way. The program funding, budgeted for $30,000 in 2016, is intended to provide financial incentives for quality façade developments.

It is also the intent of the program to strengthen the economic viability of downtown Canal Winchester by improving the exterior physical appearances of buildings. The perception of the Old Town area has a significant influence on its economic success. By improving its physical appearance, the downtown will have a much greater potential for attracting and retaining business as well as creating an image of strong economic health and vitality.

Eligibility
Commercial and mixed use structures within the boundaries of the Old Town Area (see map) or “target area” are eligible for funding. Buildings used solely for residential purposes are not eligible. Priority will be given to projects with the highest visibility and impact on public streets. 

Applicants for participation in the program must meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Own a commercial or mixed-use building or be a business owner with building owner authorization, located within the target area.
  • Must have had no tax delinquencies for the previous three years and must demonstrate evidence of property insurance prior to participation in the program.
  • May only receive one grant per building within a three-year period. (May reapply for funding until the maximum award is reached as long as program funds are available.)
  • May submit projects only for improvements to facades visible from a public right of way. 
  • Must have a total project value in excess of $2,500 or grant request of $1,250 as the minimum. 
  • All improvements must comply with standards set forth in the Landmark’s Guidelines and all applicable building codes.  
Improvements to buildings without significant architectural features should be carefully designed and constructed to be in scale with the existing structure. Buildings appearing to have significant architectural features that have been covered or removed are required to, as closely as possible, restore and maintain those features.  The use of a qualified architect or design professional with expertise in historic architecture is encouraged, and the cost of architectural fees is an eligible component of the total project cost.  

Grant Amount
Grants are available to cover 50% of the total eligible project costs, not to exceed $7,500.  The applicant must use private, non-City funds to match the City’s grant.  Grantees will be reimbursed at the conclusion of the project, after certification of project costs and verification of compliance with the approved plans.