Attractive building facades support and encourage local businesses. They have a large effect on the attractiveness and marketability of the surrounding area. The Downtown Antigo Façade Improvement Grant Program is designed to provide financial assistance to property owners or tenants looking to improve or restore the original historic features of the physical external appearance exclusively of the front and rear of commercial businesses ultimately enhancing Downtown Antigo. The $20,000 Grant fund is made available through Tax Incremental Financing District Four (TIF 4).
The goals of this program are to reduce renovation costs to the business owner, and help to reduce associated financing costs and coordinate commercial renovations with the planned street reconstruction Fifth Avenue. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis and based on meeting the Evaluation Criteria guidelines. This is a reimbursable program. For every $3 that the applicant spends, they can be reimbursed $1 of grant funding to a maximum of $3000 per applicant.
Funded improvements could include façade rehabilitation, door and window repair or replacement, exterior painting, masonry cleaning and/or repair, awnings, lighting, shutters, gutters, hardscapes (decks, fountins, etc) or signage.
Completed application packets must include cost estimates, contracts and design drawings (if applicable); copy of lease, land contract or deed; and written authorization from landowner if tennant is the applicant. Return completed applications to the Community Development Corporation. Plans and specifications will be reviewed by the City’s Economic Development Committee on the first Monday of each month. Applicants will be notified of the project acceptance and grant determination within a reasonable period of time.
Improving the appearance and integrity of a neighborhood business district through facade improvements has many potential benefits:
• People prefer to move to communities with strong commercial districts.
• Businesses improve sales when local households support their commercial district.
• Appropriate and consistent maintenance protects investments in businesses and property.
Benefits to merchants
• Sales increase when customers enjoy the shopping experience.
• Improvements encourage neighboring businesses to improve their buildings as well.
• A new look that catches people's attention provides free advertising.
• Facade improvement is an investment in the business.
Benefits to property owners
• Building upgrades increase the value of a building and stabilizes property values within a neighborhood.
• Cleaned-up vacant spaces lure better retail prospects.
• Facade improvement protects the sales of the lessee (or commands better lease terms).
Benefits to community
• Residents feel that that they are part of a positive local activity.
• Local organizations want to protect locally owned businesses.
• Residents recognize the importance of individual businesses retaining the feeling and character of the community.
• Facade improvements are a community stabilizer;
For all inquiries or to obtain an application and program guidelines, contact the Economic Development Corporation, 312 Forrest Avenue, 715-623-5123 or visit langladecounty.org.