What is the Remington Commercial Façade Improvement Program?
The Remington Commercial Facade Improvement Program is a storefront improvement grant initiative administered by the Greater Remington Improvement Association (GRIA). The purpose of the program is to encourage and assist property and business owners located in Remington to restore and improve the appearance of the façades of their buildings and preserve the historic character of the neighborhood.
For more information on the application process, see How does the application process work?. Only work on street facing facades is eligible for grant funding.
How does this program work?
The Façade Improvement Program provides up to $20,000 in matching funds for façade repair and restoration. For projects under $10,000, a 25% applicant match is required, for projects over $10,000, a 50% applicant match is required. This means if you apply for a $1,000 grant, you would need to invest at least $250 in the project. If you apply for a $10,000 grant, you would need to invest at least $5,000 in the project. Work started or completed prior to GRIA approval is not eligible for funding. The goal of this program is to encourage building restoration, historic preservation, and improved economic vitality by improving building facades.
Who can apply for Façade Improvement Program funds?
Any property owner or tenant (with authorization from the property owner) can apply for funding. The area of eligibility is within the boundaries of the Remington Historic District and is limited to commercial buildings only. Please see the attached map of the Remington Historic District.
What type of repair and restoration work is eligible for Façade Improvement Program funds?
- Restoration of architectural details in historic buildings and removal of elements covering any such architectural details
- Installation or repair of signs, which are attractively integrated into the architecture of a building including its window areas, doorways and awnings, or canopies (signs may identify a business, but not advertise a product)
- Installation of appropriate lighting for the purpose of illuminating the exterior and/or signage of a building
- Removal and/or installation of awnings, canopies or shutters
- Cleaning and/or repainting of building exteriors
- Cleaning and/or re-‐pointing of brick, and other masonry
- Replacement of deteriorated windows, doors and/or framing visible from the street
- Removal of solid roll-‐down security gates
- American Disability Act (ADA) accessibility improvements (exterior only)
improvements immediately adjacent to the subject property (limited to
work within or immediately adjacent to and visible from the public right
What are some examples of ineligible expenses?
- Parking lots
- New construction
- Interior improvements
- Equipment or inventory
- Inappropriate cleaning methods, repairs, replacements or alterations not in compliance with the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for Rehabilitation
- Projects completed prior to the approval of the application
- Any work that is not completed by a licensed contractor or subcontractor
If a contractor hired to perform the work, they must be MHIC licensed. Price quotes are required as part of the application process – a set amount will be approved and cannot be changed, even if the project ends up costing more once completed. If you choose to do the work yourself or hire a contractor that is not MHIC licensed, the labor cannot be credited.
Are there any design guidelines?
Yes, the project must conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The Standards are available on the National Park Services website: https://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/four-treatments/treatment-rehabilitation.htm
Projects should also fit with the general vision laid out in the Remington Neighborhood Master Plan. The Remington Master Plan is available on the GRIA website: https://griaonline.org/neighborhood-master-plan/
How does the application process work?
- Applicants must submit all application materials to the GRIA Land Use Committee. The committee, and the Maryland Historical Trust will review applications. Applicants are encouraged to meet with Staff prior to submitting, to ensure the application package is complete and complies with the Standards. For questions concerning the application process, please send an email to email@example.com
- The GRIA Land Use Committee will review the proposals and coordinate approval from state authorities.
- The GRIA Land Use Committee will issue a Letter of Commitment when approval is granted. The letter will include the specific amount granted and any conditions of approval. The amount of the grant award is set out in the Letter of Commitment and will not be changed after project initiation. Work completed prior to a Letter of Commitment is not eligible for funding.
Where can I download an application and which one do I use?
Fill out the following form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens after my project application is approved?
The project must be completed within six (6) months. The six-‐month time period will begin after a commitment letter is issued. Extensions of the project period may be granted at GRIA’s discretion. The
Applicant is responsible for obtaining all building permits and any other City approvals for the work to be done. The Applicant is responsible for conformance with all applicable safety standards and conditions. Changes to the scope of work must be pre-‐approved by GRIA. The Applicant also agrees to maintain the property and the improvements.
What happens if my final project costs more or less than the initial estimates?
If the final project costs more than the initial estimates, the funding amount will remain as initially approved. Funding cannot increase because it will impact funding for other Applicants. However, if the final project cost is less than originally approved, you will receive either 50% or 25% of the lower cost (depending on whether the project is over or under $10,000). This will allow us to use excess funds for other projects.
How do I get reimbursed for my project?
Grant funds are issued on a reimbursement basis and cannot be issued until the project has been completed. Before a check is cut, Applicants will need to submit a project completion report including proof of payment for the project. The GRIA Land Use Committee must review the completed project to determine that the work performed is consistent with the work approved. Once the work is approved, a reimbursement check will be issued.