Façade Grant Program

Overview

The purpose of the Bellevue Façade Grant Program is to provide financial assistance to downtown business and property owners for the restoration or rehabilitation of facades on commercial buildings. The resulting restoration and rehabilitation work will enhance the economic viability of Bellevue’s downtown urban renewal district and help maintain the architectural integrity of the community. 

Matching Grant Awards
The City of Bellevue provides façade grants on a two-one match basis with a maximum grant of $7,500 per building. The minimum grant amount is $500. Any in-kind labor must be identified upfront.

The Design/Incentive Committee reviews and recommends all projects, which must comply with the “Design Guidelines.” The City Council gives final approval for all grants.

Eligible Improvements

The following improvements are eligible under the program:
• Signage
• Brick cleaning and tuck pointing
• Exterior lighting
• Painting of exterior surfaces, with the exception of unpainted brick
• Preservation of elements appropriate to the design of the building.
• Rear entrances
• Removal of elements inappropriate to the design of the building
• Storefront rehabilitation/restoration
• Window and/or door repair
• Exterior stairways
• Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act

Ineligible Improvements

The following improvements are ineligible under the program:
• Additions to existing buildings
• Real estate or business acquisition costs
• Interior remodeling, including the purchase of furnishings, equipment or other personal property that does not become a part of the building.
• Landscaping and site improvements
• Modifications or removal of architectural and historic features
• Roof improvements (unless part of a comprehensive reconstruction project)
• Sand-blasting
• Work already commenced prior to the application (unless it was of an emergency nature)

Target Area

Owners of all commercial buildings in the Bellevue Downtown Urban Renewal District may apply for funding through the program.

Application Process and Administrative Procedure

• Business and property owners receive a copy of the Bellevue Façade Grant Program Guidelines and application form. The completed application must be submitted to the City Administrator. If more applications are received than current funding levels allow, the City reserves the right to prioritize the applications on the basis of the private funding and the relative impact of the proposed improvements on the City.
• After the conceptual design and outline specifications are completed, the applicant will meet with the Design/Incentive Committee to discuss the proposed improvements and cost estimates.
• The Design/Incentive Committee will review the application, including proposed materials and design drawings. The application will be considered based on the following:
      1. the compatibility of the proposed improvements with the overall architectural design goals for the area
      2. the relationship between the proposed improvements and the general character of the streetscape and other buildings in              the area
      3. the overall impact of the improvements on the appearance and marketability of the building; and
      4. the relationship between the improvements and the architecture or historic significance of the building or area.
• A recommendation by the Design/Incentive Committee is then sent to the City Council for final action.
• All improvements must be completed within 365 days of the date of the application approval, unless otherwise authorized. The business or property owner is responsible for maintaining the approved improvements without alteration, unless the changes are submitted for review and approval by the Design/Incentive Committee. Change orders will not be covered by the grant unless prior approval is authorized.
• Upon satisfactory completion of the project, copies of all invoices must be submitted to the Bellevue City Clerk. Before and after pictures are required. An inspection of the completed project may be required.
• If all of the requirements listed above are satisfied, the City will issue a check made payable to the applicant in an amount that is consistent with the program guidelines.

The policies, procedures and incentives described above may be revised by the City at any time without prior notice. The City retains the exclusive right to change, add to, eliminate, or modify the requirements and the incentives at any time at its discretion, with or without notice.

You can find the application here or stop into City Hall and pick up a hard copy.