The CRA Commercial and Residential Building Façade and Site Improvement Grant Program:
The Carrabelle CRA has developed a reimbursement grant program designed to assist individual commercial and residential property owners with beautifying properties within the CRA District. The Board takes applications from property owners and business owners who would like to take part.
The facade grant program was implemented to encourage reuse and upgrades to existing buildings, improve appearance, improve functionality, eliminate code violations, and help fill vacant or underutilized spaces within the commercial district. The resulting intent is to foster renewed interest in opening or operating a business or visiting the redevelopment District and surrounding areas.
This program is designed to help “fix up” existing commercial and residential properties in the District in the hopes that it will not only beautify the City, but increase business, tourism, and real estate sales, and will promote “pride in ownership”.
This reimbursement grant can help with painting, masonry work, new windows and doors, woodwork, permanent signage, and landscaping. All improvements must be visible from the street. The grant can even help pay for labor and professional design and engineering services.
The 2015-2016 CRA Budget includes $200,000 set aside for the reimbursement façade grant program. The program can pay up to 80 percent of the cost of the work, up to $16,000. The grant applications must be approved by the CRA Board and are available on a “first come, first serve” basis. Future increment revenues will dictate how long this grant program can be offered, including the amount and percentages offered for grant funding.
How Do I Apply?
The annual deadline to apply for a Carrabelle CRA facade grant is September 1st of each year. There is no fee to apply, but making application does not entitle applicant to funding. You can download the grant overview here. You can download the grant application here.
The process for application and approval is as follows:
- Pre-application Conference – Meet with CRA Director to determine eligibility, review program requirements and scheduling of application submission.
- Owner/Recipient – Applications must be filed by the owner(s) of the property, considered the recipient.
- Grant Application Submission. Submit application and all documents as a complete package. There is no fee for submittal. A checklist will be provided.
- Application Packet Review and Consideration – Staff will review and approve/deny applications packets in the order in which they are received.
- Grant Funding, Agreements and Construction – Once approved for funding, the Owner/Recipient and CRA Director shall sign an agreement approved by the CRA Board which describes the obligations and limitations of the Grant Award. All required plan review and building permits much be approved issued prior to construction.
- Construction Approval and Disbursement – Upon completion of all project construction, recipient shall arrange for any required onsite inspection by the applicable city or County Departments as well as the CRA Director. Improvements will be documented and compared with what was proposed at the time of application.
Who Is Eligible?
- Properties which have no identified code violations, unless the proposed improvements serve to remedy said violations;
- Properties which are demonstrated to be, according to City records, within the adopted Redevelopment Area, and also which are designated on the Franklin County Tax Collector records as paying into the Carrabelle Redevelopment fund;
- Properties which have no signage or structures which were previously erected in violation of existing land development or other applicable code regulations, unless said signage or structures are removed or replaced as part of the proposed improvements
- Properties whose current and proposed future use is 100% conforming and legally existing in relation to the Zoning Map and applicable Land Development Regulations, and is used for legally permitted commercial purposes
- Owners and/or tenants have maintained all required licensing to operate, as well as being current on all City utility accounts, and having no delinquent property tax payments.
How much will the Reimbursement Grant pay?
For qualifying projects, expenses are eligible for an 80% grant rebate. The maximum amount that this 80% can be applied to is $20,000.00, thus the maximum grant funding amount is capped at $16,000.00