Downtown Berkley Facade Grant Program Overview


Program Objectives

Design changes that take place at commercial properties are a critical part of any successful revitalization strategy. Customers want to shop in an attractive and inviting environment, not in one that is poorly designed or maintained. Property owners want to generate adequate rents from their commercial properties while lessees want to have pride in their place of business.

The Berkley DDA's goal is to maintain and improve the quality of life for its citizens and business owners by fostering economically viable and visually appealing commercial districts. In order to help reach this goal the Berkley DDA has established a $20,000 annual Façade Grant Program.

Program Administration

The program will be overseen by the Berkley DDA's Design Committee; it will offer design, technical and financial assistance to commercial property owners and business owners within the DDA District seeking to renovate or restore the exterior of their buildings.

How the program works

The DDA's grant funding will be allocated to building rehabilitation/ renovation projects in the form of 50/50 matching grants to business and property owners with a maximum grant funding request not to exceed $2,000.  For example, if an applicant is approved for the program and undertakes $3,000 of improvements, the amount of assistance made available would be for $1,500. If they undertake $5,000 in improvements, the maximum amount of assistance would be $2,000.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis for each calendar year or until the funds are used up. Applications must be made before the work begins. Design concepts should be brought to the DDA's Design Committee for initial review and feedback when the application is submitted, not once the work has begun.

Funding for façade projects will be paid through a reimbursement process. Only after the applicant has paid for the work to be done will the applicant be reimbursed for the granted dollar amount. How much each applicant gets will be determined by how many grant applications are received and how the project is scored. 

Eligibility Criteria

All improvements must comply with standards set forth in the City of Berkley Zoning Ordinance, the DDA's Downtown Design Guidelines, and all applicable Building and Property Maintenance Codes.

Find out if you are eligible to apply

This program is for properties located in the DDA District. See map below.

Applicants for participation in the program can be property owners or tenants with a minimum of two years remaining on their lease, or have an option to renew their lease with written permission from property owner (include letter with application). NOTE: Taxes for property must be up to date including personal property taxes if applicable.

Eligible Improvements

The following are the types of projects that are eligible for funding:

  • Removal of materials which cover original architectural details
  • Repair and/or restoration of original architectural details
  • Replacement of original architectural details
  • Window repair or replacement including window framing (must match original in size, style and scale)
  • Repainting and repair of facade
  • Signage
  • Awnings
  • Exterior lighting

Other improvements can be made if they meet the objectives of the program and have prior written approval from the Berkley DDA.

Ineligible Improvements

The following improvements do not qualify for the Façade Grant Program:

  • Improvements made prior to Grant proposal
  • Interior improvements
  • Removal of architecturally important features
  • New construction and additions
  • Sweat equity (payments for applicant’s own labor)
  • Planting or landscaping
  • Residential properties, excluding mixed use


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