Facade Improvement Program

A Collaborative Grant Program between Auburn Main Street, the Redevelopment Commission, and the City of Auburn


This is a Façade Grant Program in conjunction with the City’s Building, Planning and Development Department, Auburn Main Street (AMS), and the Auburn Redevelopment Commission.  This program is designed to encourage both downtown business and/or building owners to improve the aesthetic appearance of their historical building façade to help stimulate commerce and enhance the overall business environment of the downtown’s historic corridor.

The “Façade Improvement Program” is a fifty percent (50%) matching grant, with a maximum grant amount of $15,000 or larger on a case-by-case basis. Grants can be requested by applicants once every twelve (12) months and projects can be requested in phases.

The Program focuses on the improvement of existing buildings. Eligible expenses include exterior building improvements, exterior lighting, new and/or renovated signs, awnings, historic façade elements, windows and doors, and similar projects. A 100% reimbursement of actual architectural or engineering costs associated with façade improvements, providing the owner utilizes the technical input in the façade renovation, not to exceed $2,500.

In addition to code and ordinance compliance, any façade improvement project shall be required to comply with specific design guidelines intended to retain and/or enhance the character and historical value of the Downtown Business District. Buildings eligible for the Façade Improvement Grant shall be at least 50 years old and used for commercial purposes.




  1. he properties building must be in the Downtown Business District TIF area and either be a contributing historical building or 50 years or older.
  2. Applicant(s) must be the building owner. Tenants may qualify upon receiving written consent from the building owner.


Items include, but are not limited to, the following)

  1. Accentuating the existing features of the building through painting, lighting restoration, replacement, cleaning, or other treatment of exterior surfaces.
  2. The addition of design elements which may have appeared on the original building, or are in keeping with the building's character, e.g., awnings.
  3. Repair to building exterior facades (front, rear, and side facades are eligible and encouraged).
  4. Masonry and major structural repairs to any “street facing exterior walls” (major structural repairs require appropriate plans prepared by a qualified structural engineer whose fees are eligible to be included within the matching grant application).
  5. Building envelope components relating to controlling the flow of air and water. This includes such items as glazing, curtain walls, tuck pointing, parapet walls, flashing, caulking, sealants, membranes, moisture barriers, and condensation control.
  6. Cleaning of building exterior.
  7. Exterior painting.
  8. Repairing or replacing cornices, entrances, doors, windows, decorative detail, and/or awnings.

NOTE: All exterior colors chosen will be reflective and selected from a historical color pallet and representative of our current downtown color pallet.

  1. Sign removal, repair, or replacement.
  2. Other repairs that may improve the aesthetic quality of the building.
  3. Façade renovation - must involve the general upgrading of a building's external appearance.
  4. Additions to existing structures.
  5. Appropriate historic or themed murals.
  6. Façade renovation must involve the general upgrading of a building’s external appearance/landscaping.


(Items include, but are not limited to, the following)

  1. Interior improvements (except window display areas).
  2. Asbestos, mold, and mildew removal and/or mitigation.
  3. Sidewalks.
  4. Purchase of furnishings, equipment, or other personal property not part of the real estate.
  5. Improvements completed, or in progress, prior to notification of approval.
  6. Repair or creation of features not compatible with original architecture. (NOTE: These items may be eligible if required by government rules and/or regulations).
  7. Façade grants are not meant to replace your insurance deductible.
  8. Projects that cover up historical architectural features of the building’s façade.
  9. Improvements to roofing systems or roof structures.


A pre‐application meeting is the first step in the Façade Improvement Grant application process. To request a pre‐application meeting, please contact:

City of Auburn Building and Planning Department 925‐6449 or Auburn Main Street Design Review Committee Chair, Tyler Wolfe (260) 570-6687.

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