Commercial Site and Building Improvement Grant
The primary objective of this matching grant program is to encourage redevelopment and revitalization of commercial structures and properties by offering limited financial and technical assistance. The overall objective is to stimulate reinvestment in the CRA district and to preserve or revitalize the homes that create the unique character of the community. This assistance grant is in compliance with the CRA Master Plan Site Building and Development Assistance Program and the overall goal of eliminating blight within the CRA district [FSS Chapter 163.335] through enhancing the appearance and condition of structures and properties.
Commercial Property owners may qualify for this matching grant program which provides up to 50% reimbursement of the total project cost, up to a maximum of $15,000, to pay for the implementation of eligible improvements to existing commercial structures within the CRA District. All disbursements of grant funds are made following the completion and final inspection of the improvement project. Funds are appropriated annually in the CRA Budget and are available on a first come-first served basis. The program is subject to the availability of allocated funds in that CRA budget.
The following rules are intended to inform a potential grant applicant of the extent and scope of the program. The desired result will halt deterioration, stabilize property values, improve and upgrade the appearance of the area, and facilitate and encourage redevelopment activity in the CRA district. 1
. The program is for commercial properties only. The property owner must be the applicant or have approval from the property owner. Subject property must be the current or planned occupancy of applicant. Applications for properties delinquent in payment of property taxes will not be accepted.
2. The program is available only for property located within the CRA District.
3. Improvements must be consistent with any applicable guidelines and policies as outlined by the CRA Plan.
4. Eligible improvements for this program include (this list is not exhaustive):
• Fees – Site design; engineering; permitting
• Landscaping Expenses (design fees; installation; material purchases; irrigation)
• Exterior Repair, Stucco and Painting
• Roof Repair and Replacement
• Exterior lighting and related electrical work
• Exterior Signage
• Awning Installation/Repair/Replacement
5. All work must be done in compliance with applicable City of DeFuniak Springs and Walton County Codes and Planning Regulations. All professional work where permitting is requires must be performed by a licensed contractor in good standing with the City of DeFuniak Springs and Walton County. Improvements to properties that do not or cannot meet building and safety codes are ineligible.
6. Historic buildings shall be designed, revitalized, and maintained to complement and accent the original architectural features of the building.
7. Grant funds will be reimbursed exclusively for approved work, approved change orders and only for work that has been performed after being notified of grant approval by the CRA. Any work completed prior to receiving grant approval is ineligible for reimbursement.
8. Only one (1) Commercial Site and Building Improvement Grant application will be accepted per property, per annual grant cycle. The Commercial Site and Building Improvement Grant Program is only available to applicants that have not received previous grant funding for the same property in the last three (3) years.
Applicants are reminded that grant awards are discretionary and should not be considered an entitlement. All grant criteria contained herein are guidelines, not guarantees for awards and successful applicants may receive any amount up to the maximum award. Should an applicant meet all grant criteria, a grant may or may not be awarded due to funding limitations, competing applications, and/or competing priorities.