Facade Improvement Program FY 2019/20

The City of University City (City) recognizes the positive impact individual façade improvements can have on the overall appearance, quality and vitality of the City's Commercial Districts. The program is in keeping with the economic development strategies outlined in the City’s 2005 Comprehensive Plan Update, section C-2 (“Improve the physical appearance of all commercial districts”).

The Program is designed to facilitate private sector investment in making these desired exterior improvements. The Program offers financial assistance, in the form of a matching grant up to $15,000, to commercial property owners or business owners seeking to rehabilitate commercial building facades in any of the City’s commercial areas. Several key goals of the Program are:

•    To strengthen and expand the commercial base of University City.
•    To improve the architectural and aesthetic appearance of the City’s commercial corridors.
•    To provide opportunities for owners and tenants to participate in the revitalization of their properties by stimulating private investment in the City’s commercial districts.
•    To generate additional revitalization by focusing the investment on improvements visible to customers, neighboring merchants, and residents.
•    To increase business by making commercial areas and individual businesses more attractive.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Applicants must demonstrate the capacity  to fund their share of the project. 
  • Property  must  be  free  from  any  judgment  liens  and  all  mortgage  and  tax obligations must be current.
  • The property owner and all tenants must have current occupancy permits and business licenses on file with City Hall.
  • The Program is open to all commercially and industrially zoned areas in University City.
  • Proposed projects on Olive Blvd must be in compliance with the Olive Boulevard Design Guidelines to receive funding through the Program.  Guidelines are available from University City Department of Planning and Development, 6801 Delmar Blvd, University City, 63130 or at  http://www.uCitymo .org/index.aspx?nid=468
  • Building owner must demonstrate approval of tenant alterations.
  • Special consideration will be given to minority-owned, women-owned, immigrant-owned, or veteran-owned businesses.

GENERALLY ELIGIBLE IMPROVEMENTS

  • Exterior painting, re-siding, or professional cleaning
  • Restoration of exterior finishes and materials
  • Masonry repairs and tuck pointing
  • Removal of architecturally inappropriate or incompatible exterior finishes and materials
  • Repair or replacement of windows and doors (if replacement, windows and doors must be architecturally appropriate)
  • Window and cornice flashing and repair
  • Canopy or awning installation or repair
  • Wall, window, hanging, and monument signs advertising the business 
  • Exterior lighting 
  • Landscaping 
  • Security systems (including metal roll down gates, window bars, cameras)
  • Trash and mechanical enclosures

Note that the City may require building permits for some of the eligible improvements listed above.  It is critical that all businesses and building owners work with City Zoning Staff on design and obtain all necessary permits before beginning work.

GENERALLY IN-ELIGIBLE IMPROVEMENTS

  • Improvements in progress, initiated, or completed prior to application approval
  • Routine maintenance not part of an eligible façade improvement project
  • Billboards
  • Roofing
  • Mechanicals and HVAC systems
  • New building construction
  • Pylon, temporary, or roof signs
  • Interior window displays
  • Labor performed by unlicensed contractor
  • Improvements to in-eligible establishments or those outside the designated property area
  • Improvement to the building interior

All construction must be in compliance with the Olive Boulevard Design Guidelines (if property is on Olive Blvd.) the City's building codes and all other applicable laws and regulations including zoning laws.

Funds are limited.  Submission of an application does not guarantee funding.  The determination of eligibility and priority for assistance is at the discretion of the City's Department of Economic Development.