Grants That Are Available

WHAT GRANTS ARE AVAILABLE?

The maximum amount of the reimbursement grant for a specific property will be set forth in a Façade & Sign Improvement Agreement between the Porter County Redevelopment Commission and the property owner or tenant. If costs exceed the original estimates, the property owner or tenant shall be solely responsible for the payment of the full amount of the excess. The maximum aggregate amount of all grants approved for a property within any ten-year period shall be limited to $50,000. This limitation applies to all eligible properties regardless of the number or width of qualifying façades or number of signs.

The amount of any reimbursement grant for architectural services shall be limited to $4,000 per property. Where architectural services are required, the owner or tenant should retain an architect to prepare a conceptual design and cost estimate for work proposed. If the project is approved by the County Planning Director, the architect may provide bidding and construction plans and documents, as well as construction supervision. Only those architectural services directly related to the approved grant eligible scope of work will be reimbursed.

Exterior Building Façades

Property owners or commercial tenants who install at least $1,000 of improvements are eligible to receive a grant to reimburse 50 percent of the cost of actual, reasonable, and necessary construction of exterior building improvements and 100% of architectural fees, up to $25,000 per façade for construction and architectural fees combined. A façade is defined as a building elevation of up to 900 square feet along the front or side of a building facing a public street, measured along the building wall generally parallel to the right of way line. For building fronts or sides exceeding 900 square feet, a pro rata amount may be applied.

Landscaping is an eligible improvement; however, reimbursement for landscaping shall be limited to:

  1. not more than $1,000 per building;
  2. only trees, shrubs, and other perennial plants are eligible for reimbursement; and
  3. all landscape materials for which a reimbursement grant is provided shall be maintained in good condition by the property owner or business tenant for a minimum of five years.

Sign Replacements

Property owners or commercial tenants who will incur at least $1,000 of expenses in the removal of a nonconforming sign and, if desired, the installation of a new conforming sign are eligible to receive a grant to reimburse 50 percent of the cost of demolition, removal, and installation, up to $15,000 per sign. Required landscaping around new signage is an eligible improvement up to $1000 per sign.

Reimbursement grants are subject to Federal and State taxes and are reported to the Internal Revenue Service on Form 1099. You are required to provide your taxpayer ID number as part of the Façade Improvement Agreement. Property owners and tenants should consult their tax advisor for tax liability information.